Tools for

Operant conditioning


Operant conditioning is a learning test used in animal studies to either reinforce or diminish (extinct) certain behaviors. For example, you can teach a mouse to press a lever to receive a food reward, or a fish to stay away from a certain area to avoid a negative stimulus such as a shock or bright light.

 


Automate operant conditioning tasks

The whole process of an operant conditioning experiment can easily be automated with EthoVision XT. In the software, you can set-up a program so that EthoVision XT detects certain behaviors of your animal, and in turn sends out a signal to turn certain stimuli on or off. For example: The animal enters a specific area in its cage, this is detected by EthoVision XT, in turn sending out a signal to the pellet dispenser, so that the animal receives its award. 

 
brown mouse on a rope
 


Customer quote

"Ethovision XT has saved us a lot of time analysing behavioural data - allowing us to do more, faster."

Dr. A. Brigham|Rentokil Initial, United Kingdom

 


brown mouse lab phenotyper

Operant conditioning in the home cage

In most cases, animals are transported from their home cage to a testing area. Handling of the animal and the novel environment both cause stress, which can influence your test results. Therefore, testing in the home cage has become increasingly popular.

PhenoTyper is extremely suitable to carry out operant conditioning tasks in the home cage. It can be adapted to fit many different experimental setups, and as such be fitted with levers, lights, a pellet dispenser, running wheel, speaker for audio signals, and so on. It also benefits from the easy automation of the test with EthoVision XT, as described above.

 
 


Operant conditioning and optogenetics

Following the example above, you can give an animal a food reward, but you can also directly stimulate the dopamine receptors in the brain to reward the animal. That is what Dr. Kravitz and Dr. Kreitzer did. Read more about it in this blog post.

 


Relevant blogs

understanding-behavioral-psychology

Understanding behavioral psychology with The Observer XT

What causes you to procrastinate, eat junk food, or form a habit? Questions like this, about the connection between our minds and our behavior, are studied in behavioral psychology.
optogenetics-and-operant-conditioning

Optogenetics and operant conditioning

A great example of optogenetics in behavioral studies is the work of Dr. Kravitz and Dr. Kreitzer at the Kreitzer lab (currently, Kravitz works at the NIDDK in Bethesda). Let me tell you about it.
optogenetics

Optogenetics - Shining a light on brains and behavior

Brains are complicated. We all know that. Like an entangled bunch of wires. Still, over the years, neuroscientists have been able to map out several brain regions and their functions in behavior and physiology.
 
Ready to kick start your research?
Want better insights and faster results? Contact us now to learn how we can help you!

Full name *

Email address *

Country *