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…

System Animal Model What it does Translational Insights
Vulintus MotoTrak Rodent Supination strength task Rehabilitation following spinal cord damage
Noldus Phenotyper Rats, mice Video tracking in social, more natural home cage environment Effects of drugs in model for autism
Noldus EthoVision Small animal Behavioral tracking and recognition software Therapeutic drugs for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Data Sciences International Implantable Telemetry Small animal Syncs vital signs (body temperature, heart rate, etc. with EthoVision XT) data Stress reduction using anxiolytic drugs
Sable Systems Promethion Rodent Home cage measuring of food and water intake, metabolic rate, and physical activity Obesity research, eating behavior and energy expenditure
Actual Analytics ActualHCA Rodent Monitoring individual rodents in social, home cage environment using RFID technology Genetic influences of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases
Various* Bussey-Saksida Touchscreen chambers Rodent Operant touchscreen: Using nose-pokes to match images displayed on touchscreen Development 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 >>

Vulintus MotoTrak

Automated Quantitative Measures of Forelimb Function in Rats and Mice

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

Data Sciences International telemetry

Measuring EEG in vivo for Preclinical Evaluation of Sleep and Alzheimer’s Disease

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.

Data Sciences International telemetry

Don’t Miss a Beat: Understanding Continuous, Real Time Physiologic Monitoring

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.

Actual Analytics Actual HCA

24/7 Automated Behavior Tracking for Rodent Safety Pharmacology and Phenotyping

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.