PhenoTyper add-ons

Add the devices you need for your research

Based on the setup you need, you can choose four different walls for your PhenoTyper. Walls accomodate attachments for a number of accessoires, such as a feeding station, drinking bottles, CognitionWall, and shelters. You can connect a wide variety of stimulus and monitoring devices with the USB-IO box to the PhenoTyper cage. This page contains examples of add-ons and applications.

PhenoTyper add-ons


IR translucent shelter mouse PhenoTyper

IR translucent shelter

Although appearing black for the naked eye, the PhenoTyper IR translucent shelter is made from infrared (IR) translucent material. With the integrated infrared sensitive video camera and infrared LED units in PhenoTyper, a mouse can be observed inside its shelter. It can be used with EthoVision XT and The Observer XT. 

  • Height: 5 to 6 cm (1,9” to 2,4”)
  • Width:  10 cm (3.9”)
  • Length: 10 cm (3.9”)
  • Hole diameter: 32 mm (1,3")

Pellet dispenser

The pellet dispenser is an indispensable tool in reinforced-based conditionings tasks. It delivers 20mg food pellets upon command and subsequently provides feedback when the pellet is dropped or when the pellet silo is empty. Fully compatible with EthoVision XT, it allows you to execute the most sophisticated and interactive test protocols that involve the reinforcement of specific behaviors.

Learn more: 

Huwart, S.J. et al., 2022. Food Reward Alterations during Obesity Are Associated with Inflammation in the Striatum in Mice: Beneficial Effects of Akkermansia Muciniphila. Cells, 11, 2534.

  • Height: 20cm (7.9”)
  • Base diameter:  10cm (3.9”)
  • Silo diameter: 7,5cm (3”)
  • Weight: 1200 gram
  • Pellets: 20mg, 3.2 mm x 2.5 mm (0.13” x 0.1”)
PhenoTyper pellet dispenser

PhenoTyper lickometer  


The lickometer detects contact made with the spout of a water bottle, by means of detecting change in capacitance between the spout and the metal plate attached to an electronic box. This technology differs from conventional technology where the animal becomes part of an electrical circuit that involves a current flow passing through the animal.

Data from the lickometer is sent to EthoVision XT, where data is combined with other data such as video tracking, or it can be used in conditioning protocols.

Learn more:

Broom, K.A. et al. 2019. Early-Life Exposure to Pulsed LTE Radiofrequency Fields Causes Persistent Changes in Activity and Behavior in C57BL/6 J Mice. Bioelectromagnetics, 40, 498–511.

  • Dimensions box: 80 x 45 x 21 mm (3.15” x 1.77” x 0.83”)
  • Dimensions L-profile tab: 80 x 55mm (3.15” x 2.17”)
  • Weight: 200 gram

Optogenetics & PhenoTyper

PhenoTyper is very suitable for optogenetics studies, whether you want to do short- or long-term studies. Devices to deliver optogenetic stimulation to the animal, such as a laser or LED connected to fiber optics, can easily be connected to or buit-into the PhenoTyper top unit. Examples of devices include those from Prizmatix.

Stimulation can be programmed and controlled with EthoVision XT. Of course, the behavioral changes of your animal during or after the optogenetic stimuli can also be investigated with EthoVision XT tracking and analysis software.


Live calcium imaging

Live calcium imaging

Understanding the brain in action. It's a daunting task, but technological innovations are allowing scientist to get very close. With EthoVision XT, PhenoTyper, and miniaturized microscopy, it is possible to acquire neural activity (calcium imaging) and behavioral data in freely moving rats and mice.

Learn more: 

Sciolino, N.R. et al. 2022. Natural Locus Coeruleus Dynamics during Feeding. Sci. Adv. 8, eabn9134.


Noldus USB-IO box

USB-IO box

The Noldus USB-IO box is a device that enables EthoVision XT to communicate directly with external equipment, such as the lickometer, levers, or the light and sound stimuli in the top unit. It allows you to benefit from all the different options for completely automated set-ups that EthoVision XT offers. This even includes set-ups with multiple cages and multiple animals per cage, in synchrony with external physiological signals.



The PhenoWheel measures the activity of a mouse while it is inside the running wheel. It is designed to be connected to EthoVision XT. The activity in the running wheel is measured by means of a magnet and a magnetic sensor; the counter module counts the number of rotations You can also use EthoVision XT to measure the amount of time spent in the running wheel.

Learn more: 

Reiber, M. et al. 2022. Phenotyping Young GluA1 Deficient Mice–a Behavioral Characterization in a Genetic Loss-of-Function Model. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 16, 877094.

  • Dimensions running wheel: 15.0 cm diameter (5.9")
  • Dimensions walking surface: solid, 7.5 cm (3.0")
  • Dimensions counter module: 0.80 x 0.45 x 0.21 cm (0.32" x 0.18" x  0.08")
  • Material: light blue acrylic, IR translucent, stainless steel
PhenoTyper PhenoWheel
PhenoTyper PhenoWheel Counter Module

  PhenoTyper running wheel rat

Activity Wheel

The Activity Wheel is a running wheel for rats that is connected to the outside of a PhenoTyper cage. It is connected with PhenoTyper with a guillotine door in between, which can be opened and closed manually. The wheel has an electronic brake with nine resistance levels, and an LCD counter display.

The rotations of the Activity Wheel are measured by means of a magnet and a magnetic sensor. The PhenoCounter module counts the number of rotations (four counts per revolution) and sends this information to EthoVision XT. In addition to this, you can use EthoVision XT to measure the amount of time spent in the Activity Wheel. The data from the counter module can also be used as conditions in test protocols that are executed by EthoVision XT.

  • Activity Wheel: 35.8 cm diameter (14.0")
  • Walking surface: stainless steel grid rods, 0.1875" (4.8 mm) with 1.6 cm (0.625") spacing
  • Counter module: 0.80 x 0.45 x 0.21 cm (0.32" x 0.18" x 0.08")
  • Door opening: 7.2 cm W x 10.2 cm H (2.83" x 4.0")
  • Materials: Stainless steel, polypropylene.

Mouse Feeding Monitor

The Mouse Feeding Monitor (MFM) is a lowcost, easy-to-clean, and reliable solution designed to monitor the interaction of a mouse with a stainless-steel feeder, that is easily attached to PhenoTyper. Based on a beam break mechanism, MFM can register feeding duration and frequency. This IR beam is pulsating at a frequency of 38kHz; this ensures that outside IR sources cannot interfere with its operation.

The MFM can be connected to EthoVision XT to collect data from the MFM and incorporate it with your tracking data. You can connect up to two Feeding Monitors to one IR Beam Controller.

Learn more:

Mohammad, H. et al. 2021. Neural Circuit for Excessive Feeding Driven by Environmental Context in Mice. Nat. Neurosci. 24, 1132–1141.

PhenoTyper Mouse Feeding Monitor
PhenoTyper Mouse Feeding Monitor parts

Various PhenoTyper walls

Wall types

Not only add-ons make your PhenoTyper varied, the walls are also customizable to suit your set-up. Think of different sizes, openings, connections and for add-ons. Custom options for your particular research are also possible. It all depends on your research.



The CognitionWall™ is an add-on developed for PhenoTyper home cages by Sylics. It is designed for operant cognitive tests in a home cage environment in combination with AHCODA data analysis software.

The wall contains three entrances and is placed in front of a reward dispenser (in one of the corners) of a PhenoTyper home cage. Animals receive a food reward when they enter through the ‘correct’ entrance. CognitionWall tests are video-tracked, programmed, and controlled with EthoVision XT video tracking software.

Discrimination and reversal learning

The CognitionWall can be used for a one-night (automated) test to efficiently identify discrimination learning impairments in mice. This test has been validated with pharmacological and genetic models such as an Alzheimer’s disease model. The CognitionWall is also ideal for assessment of cognitive flexibility. After an initial discrimination learning phase of two nights, the rewarded entrance is switched.

Learn more:

Cassidy, B.R.; Logan, S.; Farley, J.A.; Owen, D.B.; Sonntag, W.E.; Drevets, D.A. Progressive Cognitive Impairment after Recovery from Neuroinvasive and Non-Neuroinvasive Listeria Monocytogenes Infection. Front. Immunol. 2023, 14.

brown mouse with the cognitionwall
top view of cognitionwall in phenotyper


AHCODA™ is a data analysis service, developed by Sylics, that converts your raw EthoVision XT tracking data from PhenoTyper home cage tests into readily interpretable data sets.

PhenoTyper AHCODA

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