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

Efficient and robust cognitive testing

The CognitionWall is, as the name suggests, a wall made for cognitive testing in mice. The wall contains three entrances and is placed in front of a reward dispenser (in one of the corners) of a PhenoTyper 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. Because these tests take place in a home cage environment, no handling of mice is required – meaning more efficiency, better welfare, and better results.

Discrimination learning

The CognitionWall can be used for a one-night (automated) test to efficiently identify discrimination learning impairments in mice. During one night the mouse learns that only the use of one specific entrance leads to a food reward. The rate at which the mouse gains a preference for this entrance is used as a measure of discrimination learning. This test has been validated with pharmacological and genetic models such as an Alzheimer’s disease model.

The great advantage of this protocol is that it is faster, more sensitive and more reproducible than a conventional five-day Morris water maze testing protocol.

CatWalk Topview
There are three entrances in the CognitionWall.
CatWalk Mouse
The mouse learns that only one entrance leads to a food reward.

Reversal learning

The CognitionWall is also ideal for assessment of cognitive flexibility. After an initial discrimination learning phase of two nights, the rewarded entrance is switched. The rate at which the mouse gains a new relative preference (reversal learning) is measured over two subsequent nights. 

Data from these experiments is automatically processed, quality-checked, and analyzed by cloud-based analysis software from Sylics. The results, with art and statistics ready for publication, are put on your private website within 24 hours. 

Please note that EthoVision XT can track your animals (up to 4 PhenoTyper cages) for multiple days (up to 72 hours) in a row via live tracking. However, tracking live and recording video simultaneously is limited to 24 hours. Keep this in mind when performing protocols that last longer than 24 hours.

Why you should use it in your lab

  • Sensitive and fast cognitive testing
  • Easy-to-use and optimized addition to PhenoTyper and EthoVision XT
  • Complete automated test in home cage environment
  • Limited handling increases the quality of data, the efficiency of your work, and animal welfare
  • Budget-friendly solution