Skip to main content
Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience / IDD Research Center / Scientific Cores / Animal Behavior and Neurophysiology


Animal Behavior and Neurophysiology

Director: Deborah Cory-Slechta, Ph.D., Co-Director: Krishnan Padmanabhan, Ph.D.

Technician:  Travis Covitz


The URMC IDDRC Animal Behavior and Neurophysiology (ABN) Core provides IDDRC members with access to behavioral and neurophysiological assays in rodent models that harness the expertise of the Core leadership and allow for investigation of the neural underpinnings of IDDs.  The Core’s Components in animal behavior and neurophysiology are already central to work being conducted by IDDRC investigators, providing access to equipment, techniques, and analyses that are central to current neuroscience research.  By providing access to well established assays that are essential to IDD research, the animal behavior component of the Core allows investigators to relate changes at the gene, cell, and circuit level in the animal models to behaviors that may provide mechanistic insight into IDDs.  Similarly, by providing access to single neuron, multiunit, and population activity measures, the neurophysiology component of the core allows investigators to further establish bridges that link changes in patterns of neuronal activity to behavioral changes that may underlie a number of IDDs. Both components of the Core have continued to advance and validate new technologies; both are also critical to the Research Project.  The ABN Core is supported by dedicated administrative and technical faculty and staff to provide critical expertise in the design, implementation, and analysis of both behavioral and neurophysiological assays critical to IDD research.

It specifically provides the following:

  • Vital access to resources (both equipment and expertise) for carrying out behavioral and neurophysiological assays critical to IDDRC investigator research
  • Technical and methodological guidance and support to generate data in both behavioral and neurophysiological assays critical to IDDRC investigator research
  • Analysis and statistical guidance and support to interpret data in both behavioral and neurophysiological assays critical to IDDRC investigator research
  • Collectively, the ABN Core of the URMC IDDRC allows investigators to perform behavioral and neurophysiological assays in animal models to gain insight into the neural underpinnings of IDDs. Through its interactions with other IDDRC Cores, it will advance the long-term goal of identifying interventions and treatments at the cellular, neurophysiological, and behavioral levels.

How to Access the Core

Users access all ABN resources and services via a web-accessible central information repository. To minimize barriers to interdisciplinary work and facilitate transition of research from one domain to another, all web sites will provide cross-reference links to the other UR IDDRC Cores. To serve disparate needs of IDD investigators, all first-time users will meet with Dr. Cory-Slechta or Padmanabhan to assist them in determining the best screening and assessment measures for proposed experiments. Experienced and repeat users will not necessarily require such meetings and can schedule Core services directly. Users can obtain training to various degrees to use Core infrastructure to various degrees, or have the Core manage the entire project and execute all experiments. Core faculty are prepared to provide expertise in the design and feasibility of a proposed study, identification of any unique needs of a proposal, training materials, access to dedicated computer and software that is required, and maintenance of databases and standard operation protocols. Where needed, the Core can also direct users to other IDDRC Cores and facilitate these interactions. Consistent with Center policy, IDDRC investigators have priority access over non-IDDRC members to Core resources, both training and services. For IDDRC investigators, priority is given to new investigators and junior investigators or to individuals seeking to obtain preliminary data for a grant application, followed by those with currently NIH-funded IDD projects. All users are encouraged to schedule services well in advance. The Core will assist in mutually agreeable scheduling changes among users to accommodate last minute needs such as for testing during a specific developmental period or for a grant application. Non-IDDRC users will secure time no more than 1 week in advance, but can go on a waiting list for a time slot >1 week in the future, with the understanding this might be rescheduled if needed by an IDDRC investigator. Potential users with time critical, or time sensitive experiments are informed of the need to schedule Core use in advance, and coordination is done across all users to plan experiments accordingly. Applications intending continuing or routine Core use are expected to include funds for this purpose, given Core resources.

ABN Core Fee Schedule for Chargebacks

Can you change the pricing for the animal behavior core to these figures:


Type of Service

In-Organization Rate

Outside Organization Rate

Use of Core Equipment for Animal Testing

$40.00 per hour
($30 for IDDRC members)

$50.00 per hour

Technician Time

$40.00 per hour
($30 for IDDRC members)

$60.00 per hour

Data Analysis

$75.00 per hour
($50 for IDDRC members)

$100.00 per hour

Tattooing for Identification

$50.00 per hour ($30 for IDDRC members) + $0.75 per animal

$70.00 per hour + $0.75 per animal