The Cutting Edge of Animal Behavioral Neuroscience

Since Dr. Ivan Pavlov studied dogs in the 19th century, behavioral science has come a very long way. Novel technologies– like one teaching mice to match images on a touchscreen for a strawberry milkshake– are changing the way we study cognition in animals. And while these new technologies measure very different things, they all share the same end goal: to provide insight into translational therapies for pathologies like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke.

In November 2016, Science Magazine published a great article titled ‘Mouse with a Milkshake: Behavioral windows into brain function’, and although the article is a few years old, the technologies it describes are as relevant now as they were then. This is an essential read for animal behavior researchers, covering several technologies on the cutting edge of animal behavioral science.

Below is a chart providing a high-level summary of the technologies…

SystemAnimal ModelWhat it doesTranslational Insights
Vulintus MotoTrakRodentSupination strength taskRehabilitation following spinal cord damage
Noldus PhenotyperRats, miceVideo tracking in social, more natural home cage environmentEffects of drugs in model for autism
Noldus EthoVisionSmall animalBehavioral tracking and recognition softwareTherapeutic drugs for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Data Sciences International Implantable TelemetrySmall animalSyncs vital signs (body temperature, heart rate, etc. with EthoVision XT) dataStress reduction using anxiolytic drugs
Sable Systems PromethionRodentHome cage measuring of food and water intake, metabolic rate, and physical activityObesity research, eating behavior and energy expenditure
Actual Analytics ActualHCARodentMonitoring individual rodents in social, home cage environment using RFID technologyGenetic influences of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases
Various* Bussey-Saksida Touchscreen chambersRodentOperant touchscreen: Using nose-pokes to match images displayed on touchscreenDevelopment of drugs for memory disorders

* Campden Instruments and Lafayette Neuroscience both make Bussey-Saksida operant touchscreen systems, and Med Associates manufactures operant chambers that can be customized with touchscreen integration.

If you are interested in learning more, InsideScientific has webinars on some these systems already… click the links below to access them. In addition, we are planning a webinar series on Animal Behavioral Neuroscience soon, click the link below to preregister.

<< Register Now: Animal Behavioral Neuroscience Webinar Series >>

A webinar for researchers interested in transitioning from traditional qualitative forelimb assessments to quantitative measurements with automated, high-throughput systems in rodent models.

Experts present telemetry implant procedure for wireless recording of EEG in rodents and share novel case studies focused on studying neural recordings to investigate sleep, energy expenditure and Alzheimer’s Disease.

A webinar for all cardiovascular researchers interested in understanding the relevance of arrhythmia detection and improving data analysis in the preclinical research setting.

Scientists discuss how to integrate metabolic phenotyping with behavioral paradigms, the importance of temporal resolution, and how to avoid common pitfalls when executing behavioral and metabolic tests.

Dr. Will Redfern of AstraZeneca and Dr. Sara Wells of MRC Harwell discuss 24/7 monitoring of group-housed rodents in their true IVC racked home cage environment for safety pharmacology and phenotyping applications.

Lafayette Instrument Bussey-Saksida Touchscreen system
Using Touchscreen Operant Systems to Study Cognitive Behaviors in Rodents

Experts discuss methodology and best practices of Bussey-Saksida Touchscreen Systems used for the cognitive evaluation of rodents.

Author:

Liam Sanio

Account Manager, InsideScientific
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