The Neurobehaviour Core


The Neurobehaviour Core provides researchers with a variety of services:


1. Training

2. Lab Management

3. Consultation

4. Phenotyping Services






The Neurobehaviour Core ensures all proper training requirements are fulfilled before researchers are left to perform experiments on their own. This includes TCP training and acquiring access to the core, proper equipment usage, handling mice, reviewing SOPs, etc. During training, researchers will learn more about the two general groupings of tests: Primary screens and secondary screens.

Primary screens have been specifically designed to cover the major behavioural domains. These high through-put tests allow quick and accurate behavioural assessments of mice. The sequence of the tests is as follows:

Secondary screen tests are used individually for specific areas of interest. They are designed to deepen a researchers understanding of behaviour in mice and confirm/expand any behavioural impairments detected by the primary screen. They are a flexible set of behavioural assays, adjusted specifically for the needs of a researcher and also can incorporate a pharmacological component to validate genetic mouse models of different psychiatric disorders including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, mood disorders with the use of anxiolytics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. Secondary screening tests include:

  • Sensory function (acoustic startle reflex, cliff test, olfactory test)
  • Motor function (tremor test, bean test, grip test, catalepsy, foot pattern, vertical pole) 
  • Sociability (affiliation/novelty, resident-intruder, neutral area test)
  • Cognition (Morris water maze, T-maze, object recognition, Y-maze)
  • Anxiety (light-dark enclosures, elevated zero maze)
  • Depression (sucrose preference, forced swim test)
  • Schizophrenia (latent inhibition)
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Lab Management

Staff in the Neurobehaviour core are available to assist researchers after training and while they perform experiments to ensure proper usage of equipment and provide further guidance if needed.

All of the necessary supplies needed to successfully carry out experiments are provided. Booking of the rooms and different pieces of testing equipment are performed online and with the help of the core's staff.


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The Neurobehaviour Core provides consultations to researches who need initial support before and after testing.

Initial Consultation: An initail consult can help direct researchers to the appropriate test(s) for their project(s), discuss screening options and the main objective of their project(s). It can also provide the researcher with other hypothesis ideas they may want to test their mice for.

Post-testing Consultation: A consulation after researchers have completed testing on their mice can provide feedback on their results, help individuals analyze their data, and discuss any additional or secondary tests they may want to preform.

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Phenotyping Services 

Phenotyping services are available through the Clinical Phenotyping Services at the TCP.

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