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Automated test of behavioral flexibility in mice using a behavioral sequencing task in IntelliCage


Endo, T; Maekawa, F; Võikar, V; Haijima, A; Uemura, Y; Zhang, Y; Miyazaki, W; Suyama, S; Shimazaki, K; Wolfer, D P; Yada, T; Tohyama, C; Lipp, H P; Kakeyama, M (2011). Automated test of behavioral flexibility in mice using a behavioral sequencing task in IntelliCage. Behavioural Brain Research, 221(1):172-181.

Abstract

There has been a long-standing need to develop efficient and standardized behavioral test methods for evaluating higher-order brain functions in mice. Here, we developed and validated a behavioral flexibility test in mice using IntelliCage, a fully automated behavioral analysis system for mice in a group-housed environment. We first developed a "behavioral sequencing task" in the IntelliCage that enables us to assess the learning ability of place discrimination and behavioral sequence for reward acquisition. In the serial reversal learning using the task, the discriminated spatial patterns of the rewarded and never-rewarded places were serially reversed, and thus, mice were accordingly expected to realign the previously acquired behavioral sequence. In general, the tested mice showed rapid acquisition of the behavioral sequencing task and behavioral flexibility in the subsequent serial reversal stages both in intra- and inter-session analyses. It was found that essentially the same results were obtained among three different laboratories, which confirm the high stability of the present test protocol in different strains of mice (C57BL/6, DBA/2, and ICR). In particular, the most trained cohort of C57BL/6 mice achieved a markedly rapid adaptation to the reversal task in the final phase of the long-term serial reversal test, which possibly indicated that the mice adapted to the "reversal rule" itself. In conclusion, the newly developed behavioral test was shown to be a valid assay of behavioral flexibility in mice, and is expected to be utilized in tests of mouse models of cognitive deficits.

There has been a long-standing need to develop efficient and standardized behavioral test methods for evaluating higher-order brain functions in mice. Here, we developed and validated a behavioral flexibility test in mice using IntelliCage, a fully automated behavioral analysis system for mice in a group-housed environment. We first developed a "behavioral sequencing task" in the IntelliCage that enables us to assess the learning ability of place discrimination and behavioral sequence for reward acquisition. In the serial reversal learning using the task, the discriminated spatial patterns of the rewarded and never-rewarded places were serially reversed, and thus, mice were accordingly expected to realign the previously acquired behavioral sequence. In general, the tested mice showed rapid acquisition of the behavioral sequencing task and behavioral flexibility in the subsequent serial reversal stages both in intra- and inter-session analyses. It was found that essentially the same results were obtained among three different laboratories, which confirm the high stability of the present test protocol in different strains of mice (C57BL/6, DBA/2, and ICR). In particular, the most trained cohort of C57BL/6 mice achieved a markedly rapid adaptation to the reversal task in the final phase of the long-term serial reversal test, which possibly indicated that the mice adapted to the "reversal rule" itself. In conclusion, the newly developed behavioral test was shown to be a valid assay of behavioral flexibility in mice, and is expected to be utilized in tests of mouse models of cognitive deficits.

Citations

21 citations in Web of Science®
22 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:August 2011
Deposited On:28 Jan 2012 19:01
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:27
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0166-4328
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2011.02.037
PubMed ID:21377499

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