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Physiol Behav. 2006 Jan 30;87(1):95-102. Epub 2005 Sep 28.

The use of behavioral test batteries, II: effect of test interval.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Test batteries are commonly used to assess the behavioral phenotype of genetically modified and inbred strains of mice. However, few systematic studies have been employed to address several key issues concerning the use of a test battery. The current study was designed to address whether inter-test interval affects behavioral performance. Male mice of 3 different inbred strains and one F1 hybrid strain were randomly assigned to either a test battery with 1 week inter-test intervals, or a rapid test battery with 1-2 day inter-test intervals. The test battery included a neurological exam, open-field activity, light-dark exploration, rotarod test, prepulse inhibition, and startle habituation. The experiment was repeated with female animals of 2 different strains. As expected, there were strain differences on each of the behavioral assays; however, there was no major difference in performance between mice of the standard test battery and the rapid test battery. Similar results were found with females. These results indicate that the interval between most tests could be as little as 1-2 days, with little significant effect on overall performance. Thus, it is possible with the current test battery to reduce the inter-test interval to facilitate the rate of studying and identifying behavioral phenotypes in mice.

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