JoVE   
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Biology

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Neuroscience

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Immunology and Infection

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Clinical and Translational Medicine

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Bioengineering

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Applied Physics

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Chemistry

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Behavior

  
You do not have subscription access to articles in this section. Learn more about access.

  JoVE Environment

|   

JoVE Science Education

General Laboratory Techniques

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Basic Methods in Cellular and Molecular Biology

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Model Organisms I

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Model Organisms II

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

Essentials of
Neuroscience

You do not have subscription access to videos in this collection. Learn more about access.

 JoVE Biology

The Structure of Skilled Forelimb Reaching in the Rat: A Movement Rating Scale

1, 1, 1

1Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge

Article
    Downloads Comments Metrics

    You must be subscribed to JoVE to access this content.

    This article is a part of   JoVE Biology. If you think this article would be useful for your research, please recommend JoVE to your institution's librarian.

    Recommend JoVE to Your Librarian

    Current Access Through Your IP Address

    You do not have access to any JoVE content through your current IP address.

    IP: 54.227.89.236, User IP: 54.227.89.236, User IP Hex: 920869356

    Current Access Through Your Registered Email Address

    You aren't signed into JoVE. If your institution subscribes to JoVE, please or create an account with your institutional email address to access this content.

     

    Summary

    The skilled reaching scale divides the movement by a forelimb in a reach for food act into composite elements each of which are evaluated with a three-point scale. The rating scale is described for a normal rat and can be applied toward evaluating neurological motor disorders.

    Date Published: 8/08/2008, Issue 18; doi: 10.3791/816

    Cite this Article

    Whishaw, I. Q., Whishaw, P., Gorny, B. The Structure of Skilled Forelimb Reaching in the Rat: A Movement Rating Scale. J. Vis. Exp. (18), e816, doi:10.3791/816 (2008).

    Abstract

    Skilled reaching for food is an evolutionary ancient act and is displayed by many animal species, including those in the sister clades of rodents and primates. The video describes a test situation that allows filming of repeated acts of reaching for food by the rat that has been mildly food deprived. A rat is trained to reach through a slot in a holding box for food pellet that it grasps and then places in its mouth for eating. Reaching is accomplished in the main by proximally driven movements of the limb but distal limb movements are used for pronating the paw, grasping the food, and releasing the food into the mouth. Each reach is divided into at least 10 movements of the forelimb and the reaching act is facilitated by postural adjustments. Each of the movements is described and examples of the movements are given from a number of viewing perspectives. By rating each movement element on a 3-point scale, the reach can be quantified. A number of studies have demonstrated that the movement elements are altered by motor system damage, including damage to the motor cortex, basal ganglia, brainstem, and spinal cord. The movements are also altered in neurological conditions that can be modeled in the rat, including Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Thus, the rating scale is useful for quantifying motor impairments and the effectiveness of neural restoration and rehabilitation. Because the reaching act for the rat is very similar to that displayed by humans and nonhuman primates, the scale can be used for comparative purposes. from a number of viewing perspectives. By rating each movement element on a 3-point scale, the reach can be quantified. A number of studies have demonstrated that the movement elements are altered by motor system damage, including damage to the motor cortex, basal ganglia, brainstem, and spinal cord. The movements are also altered in neurological conditions that can be modeled in the rat, including Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. Thus, the rating scale is useful for quantifying motor impairments and the effectiveness of neural restoration and rehabilitation.

    Experiments on animals were performed in accordance with the guidelines and regulations set forth by the University of Lethbridge Animal Care Committee in accordance with the regulations of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

    Protocol

    The experiment involves training rats to reach for food and then filming the movements used for reaching.

    1. Long Evans laboratory rats are mildly deprived of food for 10 days, then adapted to a box containing a slot through which they can reach for food pellets.
    2. After about 10 days of training the rats reach consistently and display a preference of one paw.
    3. The reaching act is filmed using a high shutter speed (1,000 f/sec) and fiming is done from a number of perspectives.
    4. The reaching act is then replayed using frame by frame replay.
    5. The movements are described in the accompanying video.

    Subscription Required. Please recommend JoVE to your librarian.

    Discussion

    Previous studies of limb use in the rat have characterized the movement in terms of end points, success or failure, or in terms of a Cartesian trajectory of the paw toward the target. The present study describes the movement in terms of relations between limb segments, other body parts and the target.

    Subscription Required. Please recommend JoVE to your librarian.

    Disclosures

    Acknowledgements

    Research supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

    References

    1. Whishaw, I.Q., Pellis, S.M. The structure of skilled forelimb reaching in the rat. Bev. Br. Res. 41, 49-59 (1990)

    2. Whishaw, I.Q., Kolb, B. The behavior of the laboratory rat. Oxford Univ. Press 162-170 (2005)

    Comments

    3 Comments

    Hello, I`m a Ph.D course student of KAIST, Korea Advance institute of Science and Technology. I was finding a motor behavior test which can be used for detecting a defect in higher motor system. Now I`m sure that the skilled behavior test you`ve introduced is the most proper test for me.   And I have a question about this test.   I want to run this experiment with mice. What food pellet can be used for mice? Would you like to tell me the catalog Number of the food pellet you`ve used in this study? If you recommend the product name of food pellet for this test in mice, or if you tell me any comments for doing this test, it would be very happy to me.   Thank you in advance. Sincerely,  
    Reply

    Posted by: Young Gyun P.April 28, 2009, 11:42 AM

    Try "fruit crunches" from Bio-Serv: http://www.bio-serv.com/Rodent_Enrichment_Treats/Crunchies.html
    Reply

    Posted by: Kriss F.September 26, 2012, 11:08 AM

    What is the width of the slot your rats are reaching through? Thanks!
    Reply

    Posted by: Kriss F.September 26, 2012, 11:06 AM

    Post a Question / Comment / Request

    You must be signed in to post a comment. Please or create an account.

    Metrics

    Waiting
    simple hit counter