Burrowing, nesting, and hoarding are species-typical activities that mice readily perform in the laboratory. This article describes how they can be easily and cheaply assessed. These protocols are extremely sensitive to mouse strain, brain lesions and diseases. Moreover they constitute “environmental enrichment” for the mice, and embody the “Refinement” aspect of the “3 Rs”18.
1Research and Development Service, John D. Dingell VA Medical Center and Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine
Disease, head injury, genetic modifications, and treatment of mice with drugs can have profound effects on behavior. Utilizing well-characterized and validated approaches such as marble burying and nestlet shredding, compulsive-like behaviors can be documented accurately in mice as models of human obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism spectrum disorder.
Mice can swim, but many strains appear to find this activity stressful. To overcome this problem mazes have been devised where escape from shallow water is used to motivate behaviour. These have been demonstrated to support learning at least as good as the traditional and widely used Morris water maze.
Published June 3, 2013. Keywords: Behavior, Neuroscience, Neurobiology, Medicine, Psychology, Mice, hippocampus, paddling pool, Alzheimer's, welfare, 3Rs, Morris water maze, paddling Y-maze, Barnes maze, animal model
Locomotor activity (LMA) is a simple and easily performed measurement of behavior in mice. Coupling of video tracking software (VTS) and LMA allows for the improvement of specificity and sensitivity, especially when compared with the manual, line crossing method of LMA analysis. Additionally VTS allows long-term tracking of mouse LMA.
Published June 20, 2013. Keywords: Neuroscience, Behavior, Neurobiology, Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology, Animal, Exploratory Behavior, Behavioral Research, Psychoneuroimmunology, Locomotion, Neuroimmune, high throughput, sickness behavior, noninvasive, video recording, imaging, animal model
The feeding circuit in Drosophila melanogaster larvae serves a simple yet powerful model that allows changes in feeding rate to be correlated with alterations in the stomatogastric neural circuitry. This circuit is composed of central serotonergic neurons that send projections to the mouth hooks as well as the foregut.
Published November 19, 2013. Keywords: Neuroscience, Neural Pathways, Drosophila, Microscopy, Neuroimaging, Behavior, Behavior Mechanisms, Dopamine, Immunohistochemistry, neurite, proventriculus, serotonin, varicosities, animal model
Here we describe a light-dark preference test for Drosophila larva. This assay provides information about innate and circadian regulation of light sensing and processing photobehavior.
Published April 20, 2013. Keywords: Neuroscience, Developmental Biology, Neurobiology, Behavior, Molecular Biology, Cellular Biology, Physiology, Anatomy, Light, preference test, Drosophila, larva, fruit fly, visual behavior, circadian rhythm, visual system, animal model, assay
This paper details how to use continuous-flow hypoxia chambers to generate atmospheres with defined concentrations of O2 to understand biological responses to decreased O2. This system is easy to setup and maintain, and flexible enough to suit a wide range of O2 concentrations and model systems