Efficient training of mice on the 5-choice serial reaction time task in an automated rodent training system

Experiments aiming to understand sensory-motor systems, cognition and behavior necessitate training animals to perform complex tasks. Traditional training protocols require lab personnel to move the animals between home cages and training chambers, to start and end training sessions, and in some cases, to hand-control each training trial. Human labor not only limits the amount of training per day, but also introduces several sources of variability and may increase animal stress. Here we present an automated training system for the 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRTT), a classic rodent task often used to test sensory detection, sustained attention and impulsivity. We found that full automation without human intervention allowed rapid, cost-efficient training, and decreased stress as measured by corticosterone levels. Training breaks introduced only a transient drop in performance, and mice readily generalized across training systems when transferred from automated to manual protocols. We further validated our automated training system with wireless optogenetics and pharmacology experiments, expanding the breadth of experimental needs our system may fulfill. Our automated 5CSRTT system can serve as a prototype for fully automated behavioral training, with methods and principles transferrable to a range of rodent tasks.

Project Author(s)

Eszter Birtalan; Anita Bánhidi; Joshua I Sanders; Diána Balázsfi; Balázs Hangya;


This post was automatically generated by Balazs Hangya

Edit this page