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Behavioral Phenotyping Core

The Behavioral Phenotyping Core at Indiana University School of Medicine is a state-of-the art facility where investigators can study the behavior of animal models. Housed on the fourth and fifth floors of Stark Neurosciences Research Institute in the Neurosciences Research Building, the core, available to all IU School of Medicine investigators, offers more than 1,300 square feet of dedicated testing space.

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Investigators at IU School of Medicine interested in services offered by the Behavioral Phenotyping Core can contact David McKinzie, PhD.

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Core Services

The core validates all assays; allows for testing of pharmacological or other manipulations to study disease models; incorporates necropsy endpoints to behavioral assays as needed; and provides guidance on interpretation and analysis of data. Investigators can use the facility to look at a variety of sensory, motor, and cognitive indicators, which can signal differences in the underlying physiology of the animal model. The facility also has the ability to execute behavioral studies requested via a fee-for-service or via collaborative efforts, provide behavioral training and advise in behavioral experimental design and questions. In addition to providing behavioral assays, the core helps train graduate students and postdoctoral researchers on the implementation of sound experimental design for behavioral studies and to use specific equipment.

Cutting-edge Equipment

  • Photobeam animal detection chambers (Omnitech Electronics)
  • Two-bay, video tracking lab with overhead cameras (capable of testing learning and memory assays via Y-maze, Morris water maze, dry 8-arm radial maze, and elevated plus maze)
  • Startle apparatus (San Diego Instruments), capable of testing decibel response curve, habituation/dishabituation, prepulse inhibition, fear-potentiated startle and shock-flinch thresholds
  • Operant shuttle boxes (Omnitech Electronics), capable of testing passive avoidance, discriminatory learning, conditioned avoidance responding and learned helplessness
  • Mouse home-cage telemetry, capable of measuring consummation, wheel running, autonomic and somatic telemetry, including body temperature, activity, heart rate, blood pressure, EEG, EMG and tidal volume
  • Various equipment to test neuromuscular, reflexive, sensory, social and emotional functioning (tube dominance test, RotoRod, negative geotaxis, grip strength test, tail suspension test, resident intruder/social defeat, cold-hot plate test, and forced swim test)

Core Leadership

25075-McKinzie, David

David L. McKinzie, PhD

Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology

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