NYMC > Research > Core Facilities & Shared Resources > Behavioral Phenotyping Core

Behavioral Phenotyping Core

In recent years generation of transgenic and knockout mouse lines relevant for human disease processes significantly increased. In these animals, researchers need to assess complex behavioral and cognitive issues, yet few laboratories are equipped and experienced enough to evaluate behavioral changes in detail. Additionally, rat models of neurologic disease have not always been well characterized in terms of behavioral outcomes. Similarly, the treatment outcome frequently misses correction of behavioral problems in these models. This facility provides expertise and equipment to analyze mouse and rat behaviors in a complex way that may help to identify relevant neuronal substrates.

The Behavioral Phenotyping Core is localized in about 1000 square foot dedicated and separated space within the Department of Comparative Medicine of the Basic Science Building, rooms 774/5. This core facility provides wide behavioral testing in small rodents (mice and rats). Behavioral phenotyping (testing) is an essential approach for new mutants, knock-outs, knock-ins, or transgenic animals or for evaluation of drug effects.

Detailed behavioral evaluation can reveal phenotype deviations and some test may have significant developmental predictive value. 

The facility is equipped with an array of testing devices including Morris Water Maze, Barnes Maze (rat and mouse version), open field, novel object recognition arena, and elevated plus maze.The devices are monitored by cameras connected to video-tracking systems using 2 licenses of Stoelting’s Any-Maze software. Open field has also an infra-red beam variant running under control of Med-Associates Activities 5 software. The facility is further equipped for long-term monitoring of EEG and seizures using 4 mouse stations (or 2 rat + 2 mouse stations) controlled by Pinnacle Solutions Sirenia software, with synchronized videorecordings.

Tests, which can be provided as of now:

  • Physical and neurological health with sensory and motor function testing in the neonates
  • Spontaneous behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Testing of arousal
  • Learning and memory
  • Behavioral inflexibility
  • Compulsion
  • Spontaneous seizures
  • Susceptibility to provoked seizures (pentylenetetrazol, picrotoxin, bicuculline, strychnine, inhalation flurothyl, kainic acid, NMDA, pilocarpine and lithium-pilocarpine, and kindling)

Tests being implemented:

Social interaction

Service Request:

The facility is currently fully supported from our funding resources. Therefore as of now, testing will be provided on a collaborative basis up to our current capacity. It is however, responsibility of the interested investigator, if collaborative efforts are arranged, to obtain appropriate Protocols of Animal Use and all necessary clearance. Once we establish system of additional support for essential personnel and equipment, we will convert to the fee-based testing.


Libor Velisek, M.D., Ph.D., Core Director
Professor of Cell Biology & Anatomy, and of Pediatrics
Basic Science Building, A20
Phone: (914) 594-4945
Email: Libor_Velisek@nymc.edu

Jana Veliskova, M.D., Ph.D., Core Co-Director
Professor of Cell Biology & Anatomy, and of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Basic Science Building, A21
Phone: (914) 594-4840
Email: Jana_Veliskova@nymc.edu