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Effects of spatial and cognitive enrichment on activity pattern and learning performance in three strains of mice in the IntelliMaze


Codita, A; Mohammed, A H; Willuweit, A; Reichelt, A; Alleva, E; Branchi, I; Cirulli, F; Colacicco, G; Voikar, V; Wolfer, D P; Buschmann, F J U; Lipp, H P; Vannoni, E; Krackow, S (2012). Effects of spatial and cognitive enrichment on activity pattern and learning performance in three strains of mice in the IntelliMaze. Behavior Genetics, 42(3):449-460.

Abstract

The IntelliMaze allows automated behavioral analysis of group housed laboratory mice while individually assigned protocols can be applied concomitantly for different operant conditioning components. Here we evaluate the effect of additional component availability (enrichment) on behavioral and cognitive performance of mice in the IntelliCage, by focusing on aspects that had previously been found to consistently differ between three strains, in four European laboratories. Enrichment decreased the activity level in the IntelliCages and enhanced spatial learning performance. However, it did not alter strain differences, except for activity during the initial experimental phase. Our results from non-enriched IntelliCages proved consistent between laboratories, but overall laboratory-consistency for data collected using different IntelliCage set-ups, did not hold for activity levels during the initial adaptation phase. Our results suggest that the multiple conditioning in spatially and cognitively enriched environments are feasible without affecting external validity for a specific task, provided animals have adapted to such an IntelliMaze.

The IntelliMaze allows automated behavioral analysis of group housed laboratory mice while individually assigned protocols can be applied concomitantly for different operant conditioning components. Here we evaluate the effect of additional component availability (enrichment) on behavioral and cognitive performance of mice in the IntelliCage, by focusing on aspects that had previously been found to consistently differ between three strains, in four European laboratories. Enrichment decreased the activity level in the IntelliCages and enhanced spatial learning performance. However, it did not alter strain differences, except for activity during the initial experimental phase. Our results from non-enriched IntelliCages proved consistent between laboratories, but overall laboratory-consistency for data collected using different IntelliCage set-ups, did not hold for activity levels during the initial adaptation phase. Our results suggest that the multiple conditioning in spatially and cognitively enriched environments are feasible without affecting external validity for a specific task, provided animals have adapted to such an IntelliMaze.

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5 citations in Web of Science®
9 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:2012
Deposited On:28 Jan 2012 19:13
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:27
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0001-8244
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10519-011-9512-z
PubMed ID:22187051

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