A sorting system with automated gates permits individual operant experiments with mice from a social home cage

Winter Y, Schaefers ATU (2011)
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 196(2): 276-280.

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Behavioral experiments based on operant procedures can be time-consuming for small amounts of data. While individual testing and handling of animals can influence attention, emotion, and behavior, and interfere with experimental outcome, many operant protocols require individual testing. We developed an RFID-technology- and transponder-based sorting system that allows removing the human factor for longer-term experiments. Identity detectors and automated gates route mice individually from their social home cage to an adjacent operant compartment with 24/7 operation. CD1-mice learnt quickly to individually pass through the sorting system. At no time did more than a single mouse enter the operant compartment. After 3 days of adjusting to the sorting system, groups of 4 mice completed about 50 experimental trials per day in the operant compartment without experimenter intervention. The automated sorting system eliminates handling, isolation, and disturbance of the animals, eliminates experimenter-induced variability, saves experimenter time, and is financially economical. It makes possible a new approach for high-throughput experimentation, and is a viable tool for increasing quality and efficiency of many behavioral and neurobiological investigations. It can connect a social home cage, through individual sorting automation, to diverse setups including classical operant chambers, mazes, or arenas with video-based behavior classification. Such highly automated systems will permit efficient high-throughput screening even for transgenic animals with only subtle neurological or psychiatric symptoms where elaborate or longer-term protocols are required for behavioral diagnosis. (C) 2011 Elsevier BM. All rights reserved.
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Winter Y, Schaefers ATU. A sorting system with automated gates permits individual operant experiments with mice from a social home cage. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 2011;196(2):276-280.
Winter, Y., & Schaefers, A. T. U. (2011). A sorting system with automated gates permits individual operant experiments with mice from a social home cage. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 196(2), 276-280. doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2011.01.017
Winter, Y., and Schaefers, A. T. U. (2011). A sorting system with automated gates permits individual operant experiments with mice from a social home cage. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 196, 276-280.
Winter, Y., & Schaefers, A.T.U., 2011. A sorting system with automated gates permits individual operant experiments with mice from a social home cage. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 196(2), p 276-280.
Y. Winter and A.T.U. Schaefers, “A sorting system with automated gates permits individual operant experiments with mice from a social home cage”, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, vol. 196, 2011, pp. 276-280.
Winter, Y., Schaefers, A.T.U.: A sorting system with automated gates permits individual operant experiments with mice from a social home cage. Journal of Neuroscience Methods. 196, 276-280 (2011).
Winter, York, and Schaefers, Andrea T. U. “A sorting system with automated gates permits individual operant experiments with mice from a social home cage”. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 196.2 (2011): 276-280.
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