Top 10 Animal behavior research blogs

Monday, 14 January, 2019

Happy new year everybody! Yes, time goes by so fast. The new year is already two weeks old, can you believe it? We closed off 2018 with some of our personal highlights in regards to behavioral research and company developments (listed in this post). Now its’s time to look back one more time. Plenty of new articles were published on the Behavioral Research Blog last year. Let's see what the most popular blog posts on animal behavior research of 2018 were.

Our top 10 animal behavior blog posts from 2018

Let's take a look at what you read most on animal behavioral research on our Behavioral Research Blog last year, and keep reading to find out which post is at number one!

10. How to characterize complete behavioral phenotypes in a behavioral analysis facility

Introducing the Behavioral Analysis Facility. Researchers evaluate the behavioral and functional activities of new pharmacological drugs using diverse functional tests. Read on to see their recent projects, or watch their user story and learn more about recent research at this lab such as research into the relationship between food intake and mood disorders.

Behavioral Analysis Facility | Noldus Customer Success Story

Researchers at this lab evaluate the behavioral and functional activities of new pharmacological drugs using diverse functional tests such as: anxiety, fear, food and drink consumption, metabolism, development (neonatal development and maternal behavior), learning and memory, pain, motor behavior, neurotoxicity and stroke.

9. Towards automated homecage monitoring of group housed rats

Rodent social behavior is important in research on neuropsychiatric disorders, but major limitations hamper progress. Suzanne Peters, PhD, defended her thesis named "The importance of rat social behavior for translational research. An ethological approach" in 2018. This guest blog post  is one of two posts in this Top 10. 

8. Into the lab: how to monitor rat social behavior

The second blog post by Suzanne Peters, PhD, follows her post at number 9. During her PhD research, she developed an automated analysis that allows for the monitoring of socially interacting rats. 

7. How the normalization of blood sugar reduces the enhanced rewarding effect of smoking

Type 2 diabetes and smoking clearly both cause serious health issues on a global scale. But did you know that they are also linked? In fact, nicotine use increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. It also increases insulin resistance, which can make diabetes worse. Learn more in this blog post.

6. Alzheimer research and the Morris water maze task

First developed in 1981 by Richard Morris, the Morris water maze task is still one of the most popular tests for memory and learning in rodents. It was also popular amongst our Behavioral Research Blog readers.

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5. A new rat model for neonatal white matter injury

Preterm birth is a major problem in neonatal healthcare. Erik van Tilborg (PhD student in the research group of Cora Nijboer at the laboratory for Neuroimmunology and Developmental Origins of Disease (NIDOD), UMC Utrecht, NL) developed a new animal model to closely mimic this clinical situation, an important step in finding new treatment options.

4. Using gait analysis to analyze clinically relevant symptoms of Parkinson’s in rat model

Contrary to common methods, gait analysis can detect clinically relevant symptoms early on, researchers say. They used CatWalk XT gait analysis to develop two rat models of PD to investigate a number of gait parameters in hopes to find resemblance to human PD symptoms, and to specifically find them early on.

3. Exercise vs anabolic steroids: a rat study

Entering our top three of last year's most read blog posts on animal behavior research! A recent study shows that the use of anabolic steroids diminishes the positive effects of exercise in rats.

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2. Knockout of Down syndrome gene in zebrafish leads to autistic-like behaviors

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is not a clear-cut disease, but rather a genetically heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental disorders. This makes it hard to point to one specific cause, for example, one gene linked to autism. However, recent studies suggest that abnormal functioning of the DYRK1A gene might play a causal role in autism. 

1. Freeze! A recent study on PTSD and the immune system

It is pretty well-known that stress and anxiety have an effect on the immune system. This can be a real problem, especially in psychiatric disorders. Researchers are now identifying critical neurological factors in the physical and mental consequences of this disease. And you of course, were very interested as this was the most read blog post of 2018! 

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New animal behavior research posts to come in 2019

Now that we are done looking back at 2018, let’s look ahead to the future! Me and my fellow bloggers and guest bloggers for Noldus are looking forward to another exciting year of blogging. You can expect more blog posts about the latest developments in animal behavioral research!

You probably have some great ideas too, I bet, so let’s hear them! Let us know about interesting studies that deserve some spotlight, so that we can make great posts together!

Which ones did you enjoy reading most?