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Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1986 May;6(4):721-32.

A system for assessing toxicity of chemicals by continuous monitoring of homecage behaviors.


A noninvasive system is described for continuous recording of behaviors in the home cages of rats. Commercially available mesh cages were used so as to conform with housing conditions in most toxicological studies. A minicomputer controlled environmental lighting and recorded eating, drinking, rearing, and horizontal activity. The system's sensitivity was comparable to more complex systems. Validity was demonstrated through manipulation of environmental lighting, food deprivation, and the effects of amphetamine, scopolamine, ethanol, methylscopolamine, triethyltin, and trimethyltin. Advantages over other systems are practicality, economy, the simultaneous analyses of several naturalistic behaviors of individual rats, and the quantification of diurnal rhythms.

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