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Animal Facilities



The Animal Behavior Core provides consultation and assistance to investigators seeking to develop or implement a behavioral project. Please reach out to our contact person, Katherine Conrad, with any questions you may have or to schedule a consultation appointment. During an initial consultation, we will ask you questions regarding the purpose of the study, what animal model you would prefer to use, how many subjects you expect to have, and what limitations may affect the study in terms of time or costs. This information will allow us to better assist you in developing an appropriate research paradigm. The Animal Behavior Core will conduct literature searches to provide back-round information on the behavioral aspects of your area of study and examples of common behavioral paradigms from that area. We will work with you to design an experimental plan that will both fulfill your needs and fit your schedule and other requirements. The plan will include a concrete timeline, requirements for numbers of subjects and a process for their individual identification, and a protocol for how the experiment will be run and, if the investigator chooses, how the data would be analyzed.

Animal Care and Breeding

The Animal Behavior Core’s new facility has room to house breeding pairs and our staff is trained in colony management. Animals can be identified by tattoo (subjects can be identified by tattoo as early as 5 days old) or ear punching, depending on your needs.

Video Recording: All Operations can be Recorded for Data Analysis

The Animal Behavior Core is happy to announce the addition of the Cleversys video system to our available selection of tools. This advanced video and analysis system allows us to video tape multiple paradigms including the Morris water maze, novel object recognition, the elevated plus maze, and many others, and then to score the videos using the system software. This system will save investigators hours of time that would have been spent scoring by hand and minimizes human error and bias. The Animal Behavior Core has also expanded its ability to analyze motor function by adding a clear treadmill and walkway to be used in conjunction with the Cleversys software for gait analysis. Please contact us to discuss how the Cleversys system might be of use for your research.

Animal Behavior Test Table

Function to be Tested (Domain) Specific Animal Tests
Anxiety Elevated Plus Maze
Forced Swim
Attention Delay of Reward
Sustained Attention
Impulsivity Test
FR Wait for Reward
Learning and Memory Pavolovian Fear Conditioning (Learning and memory regarding aversive events)
Morris Water Maze (Spatial learning and memory
Radial Arm Maze Task (Spatial learning, working and reference memory)
Barnes Maze
Conditioned Taste Aversion (Learning about consequences of food selection)
Novel Object Recognition (Memory for interactions with novel objects)
Odor Discrimination
Schedules of Rewards (F1, FR, Professive Ratio)
Repeated Learning and Performance
Delayed Alternation
Incremental Repeated Learning
Motor Function: Activity Open Field Test
Motor Coordination-Balance Rotarod
Gait Analysis
Motor Function: Strength Grip Strength Test
Preference/Aversion Conditioned place preference or aversion
Social Interactions Aggression
Conspecific Interaction
Play Behavior
Startle Startle and Pre-Pulse Inhibition

Biostatistical Support

The Animal Behavior Core can provides thorough analysis of all behavioral data such as simple and complex ANOVAs and repeated measures ANOVAs as well as regression and factor analysis models.