MBNF provides phenotyping services for engineering mouse models, and/or other mouse models (immunologic, environmental) with human clinical relevance. This service assesses the impact of manipulating the gene of interest in the behavioral domain.
This facility offers a wide variety of motor, social, anxiety-based, cognitive, sensory, motivation, and custom behavioral tasks to study mice. A description of specific tasks can be found in specifications.
Rotarod: This task evaluates basic sensory-motor integration and balance. Mice must remain on a rod that spins at an accelerating rate.
Open Field: This task involves evaluation of locomotor behavior and exploration in an empty (open) field.
3-Chamber Social Choice Task: This task involves assessing whether a mouse prefers to spend more time exploring a con-specific (same-sex) mouse, or an inanimate toy
Tube Task: This task evaluates dominance, by assessing which in a pair of mice will be forced to back out of a plexiglass tube through which two mice cannot pass.
Vocalization Recordings: This task involves recording ethologic vocalizations under different conditions such as: pup separated from mother; female vocalizing socially to another female; male vocalizing to a female for mating.
Elevated Plus-Maze: This task ascertains how much time mice are willing to spend in an “open” versus closed (darker) arm. More anxious animals will spend more time in dark and less in light. Open field can also provide anxiety information (anxious animals will avoid the open center).
Visual Discrimination Learning: This task involves the use of operant shaping, followed by various choice tasks such as pair-wise discrimination, match-to-sample, non-match-to-sample, and more.
Acoustic Discrimination: This task involves the use of a pre-pulse inhibition paradigm to assess reflex responses to acoustic stimuli, thus measuring processing thresholds (e.g., shortest detectable silent gap).
Various motivational tasks can be made available on special request, including a barrier T-maze that ascertains effort a mouse will expend to acquire a desirable reward.
Additional tasks can be adapted or developed in consultation with PI needs.