Behavioral abnormalities are traditionally thought to originate in the brain, but a new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has found that inner-ear dysfunction can directly cause neurological changes that increase hyperactivity. The study, conducted in mice, also implicated two brain proteins in this process, providing potential targets for intervention. The findings were published today in the online edition of Science. Watch this video and learn as Dr. Hébert explains his research. The idea for the study arose when Michelle W. Antoine, a PhD student at Einstein at the time, noticed that some mice in Dr. Hébert’s laboratory were unusually active in a state of near-continual movement, chasing their tails in a circular pattern. Further investigation revealed that the mice had severe cochlear and vestibular defects and were profoundly deaf. “We then realized that these mice provided a good opportunity to study the relationship between inner-ear dysfunction and behavior,” said Dr. Hébert.