Rodent Behavior Core Facility


The UTSW Rodent Behavior Core is equipped to perform a broad battery of behavioral tests in both rats and mice. Our tests can assess measures of locomotor activity, motor ability, anxiety, depression, learning and memory, reward/addiction related behaviors, and social behaviors. The staff of the Behavior Core will work with individual labs in order to phenotype specific behaviors that are of interest to the investigators. We can assist investigators in all aspects of rodent behavioral testing including design and execution of the experiments, as well as data analysis and interpretation.

Investigators at UTSW can choose to either perform the behavioral tests by themselves (contact Shari Birnbaum to schedule training), or they can request the Core staff to perform the testing. Please contact Shari Birnbaum to discuss the project.

All equipment is located in the NC4 vivarium in space dedicated for behavior testing.

Please note that no behavioral testing experiments can start until the work has been approved on an IACUC protocol.

Behavior Tests Available

Note – other tests may be available as requested, please consult with Shari Birnbaum. 

Behavior test details

What you want to testAvailable Tests
Motor Function Locomotor Activity *
Running Wheels
Balance Beam
Wire Hanging
Digigait (Gait Analysis)
Jumping Test
Anxiety-Related Behaviors Open Field Activity *
Elevated Plus Maze *
Light/Dark Preference
Marble Burying Test
Novelty Suppression of Feeding
Depression-Related Behaviors Forced Swim Test (Porsolt) *
Tail Suspension Test
Sucrose Preference Test *
Learned Helplessness
Social Defeat
Addiction/Reward-Related Behaviors Conditioned Place Preference * (for drug or food)
Locomotor Sensitization *
Progressive Ratio Testing for Food
Learning and Memory Morris Water Maze Task *
Fear Conditioning *
Passive Avoidance Test
Object Recognition Test *
Barnes Maze
Touchscreen tests
Social Interaction Juvenile Interaction
SI w/Caged Adult
3-choice Interaction
Schizophrenia-Related Behaviors Haldol Induced Catalepsy
Pre-Pulse Inhibition/Startle
Pain/Analgesia Foot-Shock Sensitivity
Hot Plate Sensitivity

* Available for both rats and mice.