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Animal Behavior Core offers state of the art equipment to the University of Houston researchers. Our training and research facility includes Noldus software and hardware products innovatively designed for the measurement and analysis of behavior. Our mission is to help researchers advance their research, product development, training, and education. Below is a list of the equipment available for rent. Contact us if you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation.

Photo of elevated plus maze equipment

Elevated Plus Maze

Our elevated plus mazes are constructed of acrylic walls and platforms. They are completely odorless and have an opaque finish that is non-reflective.

Technical specifications

Mouse Overall: 35cm arm length; 5cm arm width; 20cm wall height Stand 61cm height

Rat Overall: 50cm arm length; 10cm arm width; 30cm wall height Stand 61cm height

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Ethovision XT-Mouse and Rat Behavior Recognition

The Mouse and Rat Behavior Recognition Modules allows EthoVision XT to identify up to ten behaviors per test session. The Behavior Recognition software provides the ability to make around the clock observations of a variety of behaviors.

Technical specifications

Mouse: Automatic recognition of digging, drinking, eating, grooming, hopping, supported rearing, unsupported rearing, sniffing, walking, resting.

Rat: Automatic recognition of drinking, eating, supported rearing, unsupported rearing, jumping, twitching, sniffing, walking, resting, and grooming.

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Fear Conditioning System

Hardware for fear conditioning with EthoVision XT. The Noldus Fear Conditioning hardware is based on the Ugo Basile 46000 fear conditioning system and includes components for conducting contextual and cue fear conditioning experiments with EthoVision XT.

Technical specifications

Touch-screen controller. Sound, in the range 100Hz-40KHz; 1-150dB or white noise. Shock: constant current (from 0.1 to 2.9 mA in 0.1 mA steps). Light.

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Forced Swim

The forced swim test is an odorless, clear acrylic cylinder. We have four test cubicles for video forced swim (2 for mice and 2 for rat).

Technical specifications

Mouse 20cm diameter; 45cm height

Rat 25cm diameter; 50cm height

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Hot Plate

Our Columbus Instruments Hot Plate Analgesia Meter is designed for rapid and efficient screening of analgesia levels in mice and rats. It has a built-in digital thermometer with an accuracy of 0.1°C and a timer with an accuracy of 0.1 second.

Technical specifications

Surface Temperature Range: 30°C to 79.9°C precisely controlled to within 0.25°C across the plate. Built-in Digital Thermometer. Built-in Digital Timer. Start/Stop foot switch control. Extra thick (3/4") anodized aluminum plate provides a very stable and even temperature.

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Photo of Morris water maze equipment

Morris Water Maze

Our water mazes are circular pools constructed of blue acrylic with smooth interiors to prevent cues. They both are elevated on a moveable base with a drain on the bottom for easy water removal for cleaning.

Technical specifications

Mouse Maze: 4ft (122cm) diameter; 80cm height, Platform 8cm diameter

Rat Maze: 6ft (183cm) diameter; 75cm height, Platform 12cm diameter

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Open Field Arena

The open field arenas are constructed of acrylic, with opaque walls. The walls are easily detachable for cleaning.

Technical specifications

Mouse 40x40 cm; 30cm height

Rat 60x60 cm; 40cm height

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Radial Arm Maze

Our Radial Arm Mazes consist of 8 arms made of acryllic walls that are odor free and easy to clean. Each maze comes with transparent removable lid covers for all arms. Each arm of the automated radial arm maze has motor driven guillotine doors operated by the EthoVision XT Trial & Hardware Control Module.

Technical specifications

Automated Radial Arm maze

Mouse: Arms 36.8 cm arm length; 5 cm arm width, Walls 12 cm tall

Rat: Arms 45.7 cm arm length; 10 cm arm width, Walls 20 cm tall

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The Rota-Rod consists of multiple drums, linked by a machined cylinder to provide grip, and six flanges that divide the drums, enabling multiple mice or rats to be tested simultaneously.

Technical specifications

Mouse Dimensions: 40 (w) x 30 (d) x 38 (h) cm. Drums five 3 cm diameter drums.

Rat Dimensions: 50 (w) x 49 (d) x 63 (h) cm. Drums four 6 cm diameter drums.

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Tail Flick

The Ugo Basile Tail Flick accurately measures the nociceptive threshold to an infrared (IR) heat stimulus on them mouse or rat tail. Precise exposure to a pre-defined and consistent heat source reduces variability and increases reproducibility.

Technical specifications

Exposure to IR source may be started via pedal switch. IR Intensity is adjustable (01-99). Latency is collected and displayed on screen in 0.1 intervals. Data is downloaded via usb drive.

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