Sociability test

The sociability cage is designed to test the social behavior or social memory of one individual towards others. Typically, it is a three-chambered cage in which the middle chamber can be used as a neutral starting point, and wired cages in each of the other chambers may hold a conspecific. To study the subject's interest in a social stimulus, one chamber presents a conspecific while the other remains empty. In a preference  test for social novelty, the two wired cages contain a familiar and an unfamiliar conspecific. A third variation involves testing the social preference for two unfamiliar conspecifics. In most cases the interest is measured by assessing the time spent in the same chamber or in close proximity to the familiar or unfamiliar other mouse. 

High-quality sociability cage

The Noldus sociability cage is especially designed for automated video tracking with EthoVision®XT. It is made out of clear acrylic walls and is delivered with a white matted bottom and a dark matted bottom, making it suitable for tracking both light and dark colored mice. The apparatus also includes two removable clear acrylic sliding doors to prevent access to the side chambers, and two small acrylic cages for the introduction of the unfamiliar (stranger) mice. A small space between the chambers allows you to slip a piece of paper inside in order to prevent visual contact between the three chambers.

Animal detection

EthoVision XT automatically detects and tracks the subject as it moves around the test arena. There is no need for sensors; EthoVision XT detects multi-colored animals such as hooded rats with ease. Advanced tracking technology and a wide range of detection methods to choose from will assure that you acquire highly accurate data.

Accurate detection of social contact 

For precise detection of an animal’s location and position, EthoVision XT detects more than just a center point. We have developed a special algorithm for rodents that enables the additional detection of nose point and tail base. This offers great added value to social behavior studies. In a sociability test, the proximity to the wired cage can be narrowed down to the nose point of the test subject, providing more accuracy. 

sociability cage
The sociability cage includes wired cages for both unfamiliar and familiar mice. 
tracking in a sociability cage
Example of how an IR backlight can improve contrast. 

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Read more about using the sociability test in behavioral research on our blog.