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In recent years Harwell has built upon its established behavioural assays to develop more automated, long-term behavioural testing platforms. These tests enhance and augment the data generated by each individual short-term assay, thereby building a comprehensive insight into the effects of gene mutations on animal behaviour and neurological function.

Tests are available to measure activity, anxiety, circadian rhythm, sleep and neuromuscular function.

Automated phenotyping at Harwell:

With the Home Cage Analysis system, we are able to measure parameters such as locomotion, pair wise separation and time spent in isolation for up to three mice in their home-cage environment. This enables us to gain a unique insight into the light phase activity of mice and analyse differences in activities of various background strains over the light-dark cycle. Through machine learning, behaviours such as climbing, drinking and social interactions can be automatically annotated without experimenter intervention over extended periods of time. The measurement and analysis of multiple parameters can be done simultaneously under group housed conditions, making this a powerful tool in the identification of novel behaviours.To request our services, please complete the In Vivo Phenotyping Resource Enquiry form. 

To read more about the home cage analysis system see the publication attached below:

Bains, Rasneer S. et al. “Analysis of Individual Mouse Activity in Group Housed Animals of Different Inbred Strains Using a Novel Automated Home Cage Analysis System.” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10 (2016): 106.