A consortium of leading neuroscience institutes and corporations has launched a major research initiative named Neuro-Bsik Mouse Phenomics: defining novel mouse models for brain disorders . The project will develop a new knowledge infrastructure that combines intelligent screening of mutant mice and inbred strains with subsequent in-depth analyses of selected lines. Brain disorders are recognized as the most expensive and disabling diseases of the new century. The impact on the quality of life is arguably larger than for any other class of diseases and the economic burden is formidable. The analysis of how brain diseases develop and how such developments may be counteracted is frustrated by our limited understanding of the human brain and its poor accessibility for investigation. Studies on rodent model organisms have made crucial contributions to our current understanding of the brain and can be used to investigate many aspects of human brain disease. The consortium plans to specifically select mutant mice and inbred strains that exhibit behavioral abnormalities relevant for human brain diseases. Subsequently, the selected mice can be analyzed in depth using all the typical advantages of this model organism. In order for this approach to be scientifically successful, the consortium will develop powerful, automated yet intelligent screening procedures, that are currently not available, to select relevant mutants. Due to the complexity of the brain, analyzing these animals will involve multiple, complex and interconnected investigations at different levels ranging from studies of individual nerve cells to behavior. National partnership The consortium consists of five Dutch scientific research institutes and two commercial companies. The participating neuroscience groups are recognized as leaders in the international field of phenotyping rodent models, and as a whole they cover the entire spectrum from peripheral disorders and motor systems to cognition and memory dysfunctions. For this consortium the group of Arjen Brussaard will develop various neuronal network recording and imaging facilities in order to provide the consortium with helpful endophenotyping methods that can be used to distinguish mutants from wild types as well as determine to what extent individual vulnerability towards particular mouse behavior is being reflected at the level of the macrocircuitry and its function. The main aim is to design methods that can be used as a so-called macrocircuitry signature of the network.