On the clinical relevance of animal models for the study of human mental retardation

William J. McIlvane, Michael F. Cataldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Use of animal models can increase scientific understanding of and clinical/educational intervention possibilities for persons with mental retardation. Information gathered through such models has provided an important foundation for both theory and practice. Progress in understanding and ameliorating intellectual disability through animal modeling will be enhanced by efforts to increase the validity of the models. That is, the models must capture not merely important behavioral/cognitive processes per se, but also processes that may be especially impaired in intellectual disability. The authors reviewed criteria for determining that a given individual has an intellectual disability, selected examples of research on animal behavior that have contributed to effective prevention and treatment approaches, and successful approaches for modeling behavioral retardation. Animal models using behavioral measures based on characteristics that discriminate human mental retardation may prove to provide the most valid and clinically relevant approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-196
Number of pages9
JournalMental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


  • Behavior modification
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Mental retardation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Genetics(clinical)


Dive into the research topics of 'On the clinical relevance of animal models for the study of human mental retardation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this