Why it is smart to test your animal in its home cage
Behavior of laboratory rodents is often studied in well-controlled, simple experiments, in an environment that is fundamentally different from the animal’s home cage. These tests usually involve repeated handling of the animal, elevated stress levels due to the new surroundings, and a great variety in laboratory environments. This makes results difficult to interpret, decreases reproducibility and compromises validity. Besides, it can have a negative effect on animal welfare.
Executing tests in a home cage provides a solution to these problems. The PhenoTyper is a home cage that is suitable for a wide variety of tests, including tests on learning and memory, anxiety and depression or eating and drinking behavior. One can also use it to monitor the circadian rhythmicity of your lab animal for days or even weeks with minimal human interference. On the Behavioral Research Blog we have published three articles about home cage assessment and PhenoTyper.
Read the posts to learn more:
- Scheffzük et al. recorded brainwaves (EEG) from 19 freely moving mice during a 24- hour home cage assessment in a PhenoTyper home cage. Additionally, movement and behavior was automatically recorded with EthoVision XT to determine different states such as active wakefulness, quiet wakefulness, slow wave sleep, and REM sleep. Read this blog post to learn more: https://www.noldus.com/blog/brain-waves-and-behavior-sleep-to-learn