Neurobehavior Testing Core

Core Description: The Neurobehavior Testing Core provides core facilities and services to test mice in state of the art assays of simple and complex behaviors, including the assessment of circadian rhythms and sleep, learning and memory, motor and sensory function, as well as behavioral assays relevant to translational studies of neurological, neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. The core offers comprehensive behavior phenotyping of your mice or can train your lab personnel to perform the tests in the facility. In addition, we provide consultation on study design including appropriate tests, mouse line/strain, numbers of animals, control groups and breeding strategies. The core will also provide consultation regarding ULAR, IACUC and other regulatory issues. Assistance with data analysis is also available.

The behavior apparatus available in the core includes: running wheels and beam splitters to measure circadian activity and rest/activity patterns as well as EEG/EMG recording chambers to measure sleep/wake states. Motor function is assessed using open field activity monitors and Rotarod. Apparatus to measure anxiety-like behavior including zero maze, light/dark chamber, passive/active avoidance chambers and hole poke arenas are also available. Extensive assessment of cognition, learning and memory is conducted with Morris water maze, radial arm maze, 5 choice serial reaction time test and object recognition tests. Tests of behaviors associated with depression (forced swim), schizophrenia (startle/PPI), social interaction (choice and social memory), and drug addiction (conditioned place preference) are also available. Tests of general health and responsiveness are also performed, as these are critical for the evaluation of complex behavior.

Support for the core is provided by the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center, the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology and the Perelman School of Medicine.

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W. Timothy O'Brien Ph.D.