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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1991 Nov-Dec;13(6):599-609.

Interlaboratory comparison of motor activity experiments: implications for neurotoxicological assessments.

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Neurotoxicology Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711.


Motor activity is an important functional measure used in neurotoxicology. The effects of chemicals on motor activity, however, may depend on variables such as type of measurement apparatus, physical and environmental testing conditions, and many other experimental protocol and organismic variables. Due to the increasing use of motor activity in neurotoxicology, a major question concerns the potential for differences in experimental findings due to variations in sensitivity and reliability between different laboratories and devices used to measure motor activity. This study examined historical data from a number of laboratories that employed different devices and experimental protocols to measure motor activity. Four aspects of the motor activity data were compared: 1) within-laboratory control variability across time; 2) within-laboratory replicability of control data; 3) between-laboratory variability in the effects of chemicals; and 4) between-laboratory comparison of the control rates of habituation. The analyses indicated that there was a relatively restricted range of within-laboratory variability and reliability in control values, and that these ranges were comparable across laboratories. Similar profiles of habituation were also seen across the different laboratories. Moreover, in virtually every case, all laboratories were capable of detecting qualitatively similar changes in motor activity following acute exposure to a variety of chemicals. These data indicate a high degree of comparability in the data generated by the different devices and experimental protocols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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