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Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center

Houston, Texas

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center
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Mouse Neurobehavior

The objectives of the Mouse Neurobehavior Core are three-fold. The first is to provide training in the use of mouse behavioral assays. The second goal is to provide access to the Neurobehavior core for BCM-IDDRC investigators interested in determining if there are behavioral abnormalities in their mutant mice. BCM-IDDRC investigators will have two options available to them for the behavioral analyses of their mutant mice. Investigators will be able to either test their own mice, or they will be able to utilize core services to perform the behavioral analyses for them on a collaboration basis with Dr. Paylor's lab. This latter strategy is referred to as a collaborative service. The third objective of the Neurobehavioral Core is to provide training in experimental design and statistical analyses that is customized for the mutant mouse behavioral analyses.

While the ability of laboratories to use genetic and molecular techniques for generating mutant mouse models of cognitive and developmental disabilities have become more routine, the ability to perform comprehensive analyses of the behavioral responses of these mutant mice is still expensive, requires numerous pieces of specialized equipment and specially designed laboratory space, and proper training in the use of the equipment, experimental design, and statistical analyses. It is the purpose of the Neurobehavior Core to provide access to a facility that is equipped with specialized equipment for behavioral studies, and the proper training to help ensure the successful analysis of the mutant mice generated by BCM-IDDRC investigators. In addition, a collaborative service is available to those BCM-IDDRC investigators interested in having the testing performed for them in collaboration with Dr. Paylor.

The primary purpose of the BCM-IDDRC Neurobehavior Core is to provide BCM-IDDRC investigators with a battery of assays that will provide initial insight into the behavioral consequences of a specific mutation. In addition, the Neurobehavior Core will also provide access and training on the use of additional behavioral assays that will allow an BCM-IDDRC investigator to perform critical secondary or follow-up studies which are important to better understand the nature of any behavioral abnormality detected with a primary behavioral test battery.

Below is a listing of the various behavioral tests now available within the Neurobehavioral core:


Domain of CNS function

Photobeam activity system home cage locomotor activity
Open-field activity system locomotor activity and unconditioned anxiety
Light-dark exploration unconditioned anxiety
Elevated-plus maze unconditioned anxiety
Mirror chamber unconditioned anxiety
Blueberry bar test novel food/neophobia
Marble-burying test repetitive/perseverative behavior
Water T-maze behavioral inhibition
CS Fear Extinction behavioral inhibition, extinction learning
Rotarod motor function
Wirehang motor function
Dowel test motor function
Grid footslip test motor function
Grip Strength motor strength
Tremor meter motor function
Acoustic startle habituation sensorimotor reflex
Prepulse inhibition sensorimotor gating
Hot plate analgesia-related sensory response
Tail flick analgesia-related sensory response
Odor aversion cue odor sensitivity
Conditioned fear (automated) conditioned fear & extinction
Morris water maze learning & memory
Passive avoidance learning & memory
Active avoidance learning & memory
Water T-maze, trial-unique alternation working memory
Novel object recognition learning & memory
Y-maze (automated) learning & memory
5-choice attention/operant response learning & memory; attention
Visual discrimination test learning & memory
Conditioned place preference drug-induced preference
Tube test social interaction
Partition test social interaction/social recognition
3-chamber test social interaction
Resident-intruder social interaction
Direct social interaction test social interaction
Ultrasonic vocalization isolation-induced pup/mother communication
Tail suspension (automated) behavioral despair/depression
Audiogenic seizures seizure susceptibility

Contact Information:

Richard Paylor, Ph.D.
Phone: 713-798-6124

Corinne Spencer, Ph.D.
Phone: 713-798-8459

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