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What is the name of this device & what is it used to measure?

Activity or Open Field Chamber

Measures general motor activity


What is the name of this device and what is it used to measure?

Hole Board

Used to measure general locomotor activity


What is this device used to measure?

Locomotor activity & rotational behavior

Used to detect phenotypes resulting in unidirectional locomotor defects


What is the name of the device and what is it used to measure?


Motor coordination and balance

Most mice stay on for several minutes at 5rpm

Rod accelerated from 4-40rpm over 5 min

Measure latency to fall


Name the device and describe what it is used to measure.

Balance Beam

Motor coordination and balance

Traverse narrow beams to safety platform with safety box

Measure latency to traverse and # of "foot slips"


Name the device and describe what it is used to measure.

Motor coordination, grip & balance

2cm dia pole wrapped in cloth tape, mouse in center, then pole gradually brought to vertical position

Measure latency to fall


Name the test and describe what it is used to measure.

Hanging Wire test

Measures grip strength and balance

May use a standard cage lid with taped edges

Measure latency to fall


Name the device/test and describe what it is used to measure.

Grip Strength Test

Measures grip strength and balance

Weight is attached to tail

Mouse holds on to wire with both front paws

Measure force that causes the mouse to let go


Name the device and describe what it is used to measure.

Running Wheel

Measures circadian activity by conducting temporal analysis of the running wheel activity 


Name the test and describe what it is used to measure.

Footprint pattern/Gait analysis

Measures gait abnormalities

Ataxia indicated by highly variable stride length & path


Name 3 methods of assessing vision in mice.

blink reflex


visual discrimination using maze & vertical vs. horizontal stripes to avoid shock

Morris Water Maze with VISIBLE platform


Name 5 strains that are blind by weaning & therefore would not be expected to perform normally in vision testing.








What is the most well developed sense in rodents?



A strong puff of air in the face of a rodent induces what response?

Startle response


Name the device.

Von Frey's Hairs


Name the testing modality and describe what is being measured.

Touch test using Von Frey's Hairs 

Measures pain threshold

Mechanical withdrawal threshold is defined as the minimum guage wire that elicits withdrawal


What is the Acoustic Startle Response used to measure?

Gross hearing ability and auditory threshold

Measures whole body flinch

Background noise of 70-75dB with random tones of 75-120dB


Name the test and describe what it is used to measure.

Tail Flick Test

Measure SPINAL REFLEX response to pain

High intensity beam of focused light 15mm from tail tip

Measure latency to flick tail from beam



What is the Hargreaves Assay and how does it differ from other tests of nociception?

The Hargreaves assay uses a high-intensity beam of light directed at the hindpaw rather than the tail to induce pain; an investigator then measures the time it takes for the animal to withdraw its hindpaw.

In contrast to the tail flick assay, rodents are often unrestrained while the radiant heat source is focused on the hindpaw.

The main advantage of this test over the tail flick assay is that it allows independent assessment of treatment effects on both sides of the body


Name the test and describe what it is used to measure.

Tail/foot withdrawal test

Test of nociception

A container of liquid is heated or cooled to a nociceptive temperature – normally 50–55°C or below 0°C. The animal subject is then placed with its tail/foot immersed in the liquid, and the latency to withdraw the tail/foot from the liquid is measured.


Name the test and describe what it is used to measure.

Hot Plate Test

Measure of nociception: latency to pain-reflex behavior is measured.

Differs from tail flick in that the response involves a reflex response that includes the brain

One complication of this assay is its unsuitability for repeated testing. Animals that have been subjected to the hot-plate test in the past display a behavioral tolerance phenomenon, which is characterized by decreased latencies and reduced sensitivities to antinociceptive agents. Another complication of the hot-plate test is determining what constitutes a behavioral pain response; is it the lifting/licking of paws, vocalization, attempting to climb out of the cylinder, etc


What test is commonly used to measure response to a noxious chemical?

Formalin Test

20uL 1% formalin is injected into dorsal paw

Measure time spent licking/biting paw

2 Phases: 1st 10 min involves acute activity of pain fibers,; the following 20-60 min involves chronic pain response to tissue damage


Name the test and describe what it is used to measure.

Morris Swim Task using Morris Water Maze

Considered the #1 test to evaluate learning & memory when phenotyping GEMs

Mouse swims to hidden platform using visual clues

Originally used by Morris to show that lesion in the HIPPOCAMPUS affect spatial learning


Describe how to properly conduct a Morris Swim Test

  1. Pretrain
    • 1-3 sessions
    • place mouse on visible platform
    • normal mouse requires vision & motor skills
  2. Train
    • 2 trials/day for 10 days
    • place mouse in random locations in the pool
    • mouse uses visual cues to look for INVISIBLE platform
  3. Probe Trial (measure of MWT)
    • remove platform and video tracking to monitor mouse movement
    • mouse should spend most of the time in the quadrant where the platform had been


Name the test and describe what it is used to measure.

Barnes Spatial Maze

Gaining popularity over other testing modalities

No water required and no food/water restriction

1 of 18 holes leads to an escape box 

Measure is latency to escape


Describe Cued and Contextual Fear Conditioning & how such testing is conducted.

Measures ability to learn and remember an association between aversive experiences and environmental cues

Data are collected are "freezing episodes"

Day 1: Condition Training - mouse placed in a chamber and cue (tone) + shock is applied; freezing episodes are measured; measures unconditioned fear

Day 2, Part 1: Contextually Conditioned Fear - mouse is placed in a similar chamber as Day 1 & # of spontaneous freezing episodes are measured (in absense of tone or shock)

Day 2, Part 2: Contextual Discrimination of Fear Conditioning and Cued Conditioning - mouse placed in distinctly different chamber and freezing bouts are measured with and without cue


Name the device and describe what it is used to measure.


Radial Maze

Measures spatial learning and memory



Desribe how testing is conducted using a Radial Arm Maze.

Animals are food restricted

Animals are receive food reward for visiting an arm the first time, but receive negative reinforcement if an arm is revisited.

Measure time it takes to collect all food 


Name the device, describe what it is used to measure, and descibe how tests are conducted.

T Maze

Measures spatial learning and memory

Animals are food or water restricted, then reinforced with food or water reward at alternating ends of the maze

Animals must remember which end was previously reinforced to get reward

Can also be used for avoidance tests


Name the device and how it is used in behavioral testing.

Operant Chamber aka "Skinner Box"

An operant conditioning chamber permits experimenters to study behavior conditioning (training) by teaching a subject animal to perform certain actions (like pressing a lever) in response to specific stimuli, like a light or sound signal. When the subject correctly performs the behavior, the chamber mechanism delivers food or another reward.


What is Conditioned Place Preference?

Conditioned Place Preference (CPP) is a form of Pavlovian conditioning used to measure the motivational effects of objects or experiences. This paradigm can also be used to measure conditioned place aversion with an identical procedure involving aversive stimuli instead.


Name the device and describe how it is used in behavior testing.

Shuttle Box

A shuttle box is a piece of apparatus used in animal learning experiments. The box is divided into two halves and the animal must move from one compartment to the other in order to gain their reward or to avoid an adversive stimulus.


Explain Active and Passive Avoidance & how it is measured in animals

Avoidance is an aversive (emotional) conditioning paradigm in which the subject learns to associate a particular context with the occurrence of an aversive event (e.g., an electrical shock, the unconditioned stimulus). 

Active avoidance: a term applied to a class of tasks in which animals are required to actively exhibit certain experimenter-defined responses in order to avoid punishment; an example of its use is measuring the time it takes an animal to leave a location where it previously received a shock

Passive avoidance: Passive avoidance behavior of rodents is defined as the suppression of the innate preference for the dark compartment of the test apparatus (or stepping down from an elevated platform) following exposure to an inescapable shock. Thereby, the passive avoidance task combines Pavlovian contextual fear conditioning with the expression of an instrumental response, the avoidance of entering a particular (punished) area of the training context.


Name the device and describe what it is used to measure.

Light/Dark Box

Measure of anxiety

Mice naturally prefer dark, protected environments

Measure is the the willingness to explore illuminate, unprotected area

Data collected is the number of transitions between compartments and time spent in each


Name the device and describe what it is used to measure.

Elevated Plus Maze

Measure of anxiety

Mice tend to want to spend more time in the enclosed arms

Measure is time spent in open vs. closed portions of the maze.


Name the device and describe what it is used to measure.

What advantage does it hold over the other primary testing device?


Elevated Zero Maze

Used to measure anxiety

The design eliminates the "ambiguous area" in the elevated plus maze, which is the open space between the arms


What test is being conducted and what does it serve as a model for?

Porsolt Forced Swim Test

It is a model of depression & for testing antidepressants

Animals are subjected to two trials during which they are forced to swim in an acrylic glass cylinder filled with water, and from which they cannot escape. The first trial lasts 15 minutes. Then, after 24-hours, a second trial is performed that lasts 5 minutes. The time that the test animal spends without moving in the second trial is measured. This immobility time is decreased by antidepressants.


What test is being performed and what for what disease model is it commonly used?

Tail Suspension Test

Used in models of depression

Mice suspended by the tail eventually give up and become immobile & time is measured until immobility

May be favored over Pasolt Forced Swim Test because it avoids water and is may be less stressful to the animals


What is Prepulse Inhibition and how is it used in behavior testing in rodents?

Prepulse Inhibition (PPI) is a neurological phenomenon in which a weaker prestimulus (prepulse) inhibits the reaction of an organism to a subsequent strong startling stimulus (pulse). The stimuli are usually acoustic, but tactile stimuli (e.g. via air puffs onto the skin) and light stimuli are also used.

It is used in mouse models of schizophrenia.  Deficits of prepulse inhibition manifest in the inability to filter out the unnecessary information. Such deficits are noted in patients suffering from illnesses like schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, and in people under the influence of drugs, surgical manipulations, or mutations.