JoVE Behavior documents observational and experimental techniques that seek to understand human and animal behavior. Work in this field includes analysis of genetic causes and physiological responses to internal or external stimuli as well as the implicated brain regions.
1School of Psychological Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, 2School of Behavioral Sciences, Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, 3Department of Education and Psychology, The Open University of Israel, 4School of Health and Life Sciences, Hadassah Academic College
This protocol describes the forced swim test, which is used for the study of depressive-like behavior in rodents. This procedure involves placing an animal in a container filled with water that eventually will lead to the exhibition of immobility behavior, which is considered to reflect behavioral despair.
Published March 2, 2015. Keywords: Behavior, Depression, forced swim test, FST, mouse, rat, animal model, behavioral neuroscience, antidepressants, SSRI
1Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, 2Harvard Medical School
Gonadal hormones such as estrogen modulate memory formation in a number of experimental paradigms including fear extinction memory. This protocol describes a set of methods for investigating the influence of gonadal hormones specifically during extinction in naturally cycling females, including estrous cycle monitoring and exogenous estrogen administration.
Published February 23, 2015. Keywords: Behavior, estrogen, fear extinction, sex differences, estradiol, proestrus, metestrus, female, PTSD, anxiety
1Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, 2Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, 3Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 4Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester
To replicate laboratory settings, online data collection methods for visual tasks require tight control over stimulus presentation. We outline methods for the use of a web application to collect performance data on two tests of visual attention.
Published February 19, 2015. Keywords: Behavior, Behavior, visual attention, web-based assessment, computer-based assessment, visual search, multiple object tracking
1Department of Psychology, St. Mary's College of Maryland, 2Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia
The ability to assess executive functions such as behavioral flexibility in rats is useful for investigating the neurobiology of cognition in both intact animals and disease models. Here we describe automated tasks for assessing strategy shifting and reversal learning, which are particularly sensitive to disruptions in prefrontal cortical networks.
Published February 15, 2015. Keywords: Behavior, executive function, behavioral flexibility, prefrontal cortex, strategy shifting, reversal learning, behavioral neuroscience, schizophrenia, operant
1School of Psychology, University of Birmingham
Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the cerebellum exerts a remote effect on the prefrontal cortex, which can modulate cognition and performance. This was demonstrated using two information-processing tasks of varying complexity, whereby only cathodal tDCS improved performance when the task was difficult, but not easy.
Published February 15, 2015. Keywords: Behavior, Cognition, working memory, tDCS, cerebellum, brain stimulation, neuro-modulation, neuro-enhancement
1Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University
A protocol is provided to use an Open Field Maze to access general locomotor activity, anxiety and emotionality in a laboratory mouse model.
Published February 6, 2015. Keywords: Behavior, Open Field Maze, Behavior, Animal Model, Anxiety, Locomotor Activity, Thigmotaxis, Drug Treatment
1Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 2Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital, South Texas Veteran's Health Care System
The goal of this protocol is to perform a behavioral assay such as the attentional set shifting task (AST) to assess prefrontal cortex-mediated cognitive flexibility in mice.
Published February 4, 2015. Keywords: Behavior, cognitive flexibility, prefrontal cortex, behavior, attention, mouse, neuropsychiatric symptom, cognitive dysfunction
1Department of Neuroscience and Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, 2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, 3Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience
It is important to obtain unbiased estimates of visual population receptive fields (pRFs) by functional magnetic resonance imaging. We use mild regularization constraints to estimate pRF topography without a-priori assumptions about pRF shape, allowing us to choose specific pRF models post-hoc. This is particularly advantageous in subjects with visual-pathway lesions.
Published February 3, 2015. Keywords: Behavior, population receptive field, vision, functional magnetic resonance imaging, retinotopy
1School of Psychological Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, 2Sagol School of Neuroscience, Tel-Aviv University
The goal of the protocol described in this paper is to induce compulsive-like behavior in rats for the study of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This behavior is precipitated by attenuating a signal indicating that a lever-press response was effective in producing food.
Published January 9, 2015. Keywords: Behavior, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD, signal attenuation, rat, animal model, pharmacology, lever-press, behavioral neuroscience
1Discipline of Physiology, University of Sydney, 2Bosch Animal Behavioural Facility, University of Sydney
Environmental enrichment provides a potential protective effect against neurodegenerative disorders. Currently, however, there is no easy way of determining the efficacy of enrichment procedures. This protocol describes a simple “Puzzle Box” method for assessing an animal’s cognitive function, in order to reveal the effectiveness of environmental enrichment.
Published December 29, 2014. Keywords: Behavior, Neuroscience, Mouse, Environmental Enrichment, Puzzle Box, Cognitive Behavior, Behavioral Task, Neuroprotection