It is increasingly evident that there is a genetic contribution to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and other neural disorders involving excessive repetition of action sequences. Among the implicated genes in these disorders are those encoding postsynaptic scaffolding proteins with roles in synaptic transmission and plasticity. Several mouse models harboring synonymous mutations have shown alterations in synaptic transmission within the striatum, which has key roles in controlling actions and action sequences. In this issue of the
David M. Lovinger
Decreased indirect pathway function in mice lacking the SHANK3 scaffolding protein.