The many uses of the PhenoTyper

Because of its customizability, the PhenoTyper is a great fit for many types of behavioral research. Some of these applications are detailed below. However, there are many more uses besides these ones. Contact us to see whether or not the PhenoTyper can enhance your behavioral research, or watch some of the webinars to see why testing in a home cage is important.


PhenoTyper and social interaction

PhenoTyper is perfect to study social interaction in great detail. You can even prompt stimuli responding to animal behavior. For example, release a food reward when animals are in the same area together, or when they both press a lever. This protocol can easily be automated with EthoVision XT.

ethovision social interaction integrated visualization 

PhenoTyper running wheel rat

PhenoTyper and operant conditioning

PhenoTyper is ideal for operant conditioning tests: in combination with EthoVision XT, procotols are easily automated. For example, switch on a light when your mouse enters a zone, give the rat a food reward after a lever press, or switch on the brake of the Activity wheel after a number of rotations. There are a large number of operant modules that can be connected to the PhenoTyper cage, for example to automatically apply an air puff or give a food reward.


PhenoTyper and anxiety testing

You can use mild aversive stimuli for anxiety testing in PhenoTyper. You can, for example, automatically switch on a light when your animal enters a certain zone or illuminate the food hopper in the dark period when the animal has been eating or drinking for a certain time. But you can also equip PhenoTyper with an illuminated shelter that can be controlled with EthoVision XT’s Trial & Hardware Control Module. This way a light can switch on automatically when the animal enters the shelter, or chooses a specific shelter entrance. You can extend your setup with other TTL-based hardware. This way you can adjust your anxiety tests entirely to your needs.

PhenoTyper areas defined anxiety research

Study anxiety and depression using PhenoTyper cages

Dr. Thomas Prévôt from the University of Toronto uses the PhenoTyper to induce an acute stress response, in order to assess anxiety-like and depressive-like behavior in rodents.

Watch the video to learn more about why he chooses Noldus' tools.


Cognition Wall

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.


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.

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 cognitionwalltop view of cognitionwall in phenotyper

Download our product overview

Neuroscience (interactive)

An overview of our tools for behavioral neuroscience in rodents.



Lessons From The Core: Longitudinal Assessment vs. Point Sampling of Behaviors in Mice

Join Lior Bikovski and Shivang Parikh from Tel-Aviv University for a presentation on longitudinal behavioral studies and how to optimize the use of home cage monitoring (HCM) systems for behavioral research.

Long term rodent studies in neuroscience

In this talk, we investigate how animal research can be extended in to long-term observations, following the path human research has entered for some time already which resulted in great new insights.


Other related stories and product videos

Using PhenoTyper for longitudinal studies

Dr. Do Rego, University of Rouen, France

Study anxiety and depression to transform mental health care

Dr. Thomas Prévôt, University of Toronto, Canada

Optogenetics and PhenoTyper

How to use PhenoTyper



Here's a selection of recent publications with PhenoTyper. Let us know if you want your publication to be added by sending a message to [email protected]!

  • Long term Homecage behavior

Garrick, J.M.; Cole, T.B.; Dao, K.; Phillips, A.; Costa, L.G. Perinatal Diesel Exhaust Exposure Causes Persistent Changes in the Brains of Aged Mice: An Assessment of Behavioral and Biochemical Endpoints Related to Neurodegenerative Disease. Environ. Toxicol. 2023.

Tseitlin, L.; Richmond-Hacham, B.; Vita, A.; Schreiber, S.; Pick, C.G.; Bikovski, L. Measuring Anxiety-like Behavior in a Mouse Model of mTBI: Assessment in Standard and Home Cage Assays. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 2023, 17.

  • Short term behavioral observations

Clifford, K.P.; Miles, A.E.; Prevot, T.D.; Misquitta, K.A.; Ellegood, J.; Lerch, J.P.; Sibille, E.; Nikolova, Y.S.; Banasr, M. Brain Structure and Working Memory Adaptations Associated with Maturation and Aging in Mice. Front. Aging Neurosci. 2023, 15, 1195748,

  • Optogenetics

Stamatakis, A.M.; Schachter, M.J.; Gulati, S.; Zitelli, K.T.; Malanowski, S.; Tajik, A.; Fritz, C.; Trulson, M.; Otte, S.L. Simultaneous Optogenetics and Cellular Resolution Calcium Imaging during Active Behavior Using a Miniaturized Microscope. Front. Neurosci. 2018, 496.

  • Dietary intake tracking

Nicol, M.; Lahaye, E.; El Mehdi, M.; do Rego, J.-L.; do Rego, J.-C.; Fetissov, S.O. Lactobacillus Salivarius and Lactobacillus Gasseri Supplementation Reduces Stress-Induced Sugar Craving in Mice. Eur. Eat. Disord. Rev. 2023, doi:10.1002/erv.3004.

  • Social interaction test

Hatter, J.A.; Scott, M.M. Selective Ablation of VIP Interneurons in the Rodent Prefrontal Cortex Results in Increased Impulsivity. PLOS ONE 2023, 18, e0286209, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0286209.

  • Open field test

Lange, M.E.; Clarke, S.T.; Boras, V.F.; Brown, C.L.J.; Zhang, G.; Laing, C.R.; Uwiera, R.R.E.; Montina, T.; Kalmokoff, M.L.; Taboada, E.N.; et al. Commensal Escherichia Coli Strains of Bovine Origin Competitively Mitigated Escherichia Coli O157:H7 in a Gnotobiotic Murine Intestinal Colonization Model with or without Physiological Stress. Animals 2023, 13, 2577, doi:10.3390/ani13162577.

Faisal, M.; Aid, J.; Nodirov, B.; Lee, B.; Hickey, M.A. Preclinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease: Sample Size and Effect Size for Behavioural and Neuropathological Outcomes in 5xFAD Mice. PLOS ONE 2023, 18, e0281003, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0281003.

  • Substance preference test

Khan, K.M.; Balasubramanian, N.; Gaudencio, G.; Wang, R.; Selvakumar, G.P.; Kolling, L.; Pierson, S.; Tadinada, S.M.; Abel, T.; Hefti, M.; et al. Human Tau-Overexpressing Mice Recapitulate Brainstem Involvement and Neuropsychiatric Features of Early Alzheimer’s Disease. Acta Neuropathol. Commun. 2023, 11, 57, doi:10.1186/s40478-023-01546-5.

Wang, R.; Khan, K.M.; Balasubramanian, N.; James, T.; Pushpavathi, S.G.; Kim, D.; Pierson, S.; Wu, Q.; Niciu, M.J.; Hefti, M.M.; et al. Alcohol Inhibits Sociability via Serotonin Inputs to the Nucleus Accumbens 2023, 2023.05.29.542761.

  • Operant conditioning

de Wouters d’Oplinter, A.; Verce, M.; Huwart, S.J.P.; Lessard-Lord, J.; Depommier, C.; Van Hul, M.; Desjardins, Y.; Cani, P.D.; Everard, A. Obese-Associated Gut Microbes and Derived Phenolic Metabolite as Mediators of Excessive Motivation for Food Reward. Microbiome 2023, 11, 94, doi:10.1186/s40168-023-01526-w.

  • EEG/EMG testing

Morrone, C.D.; Tsang, A.A.; Giorshev, S.M.; Craig, E.E.; Yu, W.H. Concurrent Behavioral and Electrophysiological Longitudinal Recordings for in Vivo Assessment of Aging. Front. Aging Neurosci. 2023, 14. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2022.952101



Recent blog posts

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