Facilities and Equipment

The Rodent Behavior consists of 925 square feet of testing space, housing equipment and software to support over 50 established behavioral assays and their customization, located within the Rose F. Kennedy Center.  Modular design permits quick storage and access to maximize the use of space.

Cognitive Function

  • Novel Object Recognition
  • Object Placement – Visuospatial – Pattern recognition
  • Social Discrimination Memory
  • Spontaneous and Delayed Alternation
  • Morris Water Maze
  • Sensorimotor Gaiting
  • Radial Arm Maze
  • Conditioned Taste Aversion
  • Conditioned Place Preference
  • Labyrinth Maze
  • Barnes Maze
  • Set Shifting
  • Conditioned Fear

Affective / Emotional Behaviors

  • Social Interaction / Social Preference
  • Social Transmission of Food Preferences
  • Reproductive and mating behavior
  • Open Field (exploratory behavior, risk)
  • Marble Burying (neophobia, compulsions, anxiety)
  • Elevated Plus Maze (anxiety)
  • Light/Dark Box (anxiety)
  • Acoustic Startle
  • Porsolt (Forced Swim) Test (depression)
  • Tail Suspension (depression)
  • Anhedonia (depression)
  • Novelty Suppressed Feeding

Tests of Analgesia

  • Von Frey (sensory, allodynia)
  • Cold Tail Flick
  • Hargreaves (thermal, pain)

Sensorimotor Function

  • Open Field (activity, habituation, sensitization)
  • Rotarod (motor coordination, motor learning)
  • Grip Strength (sensorimotor function, muscle strength)
  • Balance Beam (motor coordination)
  • Visual Placing (visual acuity)
  • Visual Cliff (visual acuity and depth perception)
  • Pupil dilation
  • Acoustic Startle and Prepulse Inhibition
  • Automated Gait analysis
  • Tape removal test – fine motor coordination
  • Parallel Grid Floor test
  • Negative Geotaxis and righting reflex
  • Skilled reaching, oromotor (sunflower seed test)


  • Ultrasonic Vocalizations
  • Functional Observation Battery (Primary Screen, Neurological Screen)
  • Estrous Cycle Staging
  • Behavioral Tracking software (Viewer Ethovision and AnyMaze) – Mobile license with dongle
  • Grooming
  • Stereotypies
  • Developmental Milestones
  • Homing behavior in pups
  • Olfaction
  • Behavioral Spectrometer
  • Taste Preferences (food and drink)