Table 6

Other Neurobehavior Tests for Potential Use in SAH Studies



    Neurobehavior Assessed



Five-choice serial reaction task



Steady-state procedure in which the effects of various neural and behavioral manipulations are examined on a baseline of stable attention performances

Rat is required to detect brief flashes of light occurring in one of the 5 holes in order to earn food pellets

Reaction time procedure



rat's response to visual stimuli while its head is in a fixed location- time it takes for the rat to withdraw its head from the central location and thus cease to break the vertical photocell beam

rat is trained to hold its head in a central location by interrupting the photocell beam there. Brief visual stimuli are presented to either side of the rats head

Active avoidance conditioning paradigm (eg. Fear conditioning)


Learning/memory to avoid noxious stimulus

Escape or avoidance latencies

Rat is trained to avoid noxious stimulus by withdrawing itself from the source of the stimuli (eg. Foot shock)

Nonmatching to sample (NMTS)/matching to sample tests (MTS, can be either spatial or non-spatial)


Working memory test (trial-unique)

Latency to make the choice/error in choice (either to pick the same [MTS] or alternative [NMTS] stimulus)

Rat is pre-trained either to choose (on test trial) the same or alternative stimulus which is shown on sample trial

Delayed NMTS/MTS tests


Short-term memory

Latency to make the choice/error in choice (either to pick the same [MTS] or alternative [NMTS] stimulus)

Same as NMTS/MTS tests except they introduce various inter-trial intervals

Radial-arm maze


Spatial working memory

Errors in first 10 choices, total errors/session

Food-deprived rats trained to learn to avoid choosing arms (8 arms with food baited in one arm) they already visited (where there are no food pellets) as they learn the spatial location of each arm and remember the locations they had visited

Open Field


Exploratory and locomotor activity

Locomotion (number of square crossings), rearing, grooming, stereotypical behaviors (licking, biting, head weaving)

Video camera positioned above open field to consistently record behavior of rodents in the open field apparatus

Perceptual attentional set shifting task


Complex attention

Reversal/set shift task where rat required to discriminate which of 2 bowls has food based on variations in odor and texture of the medium the food is in

Number of trials and errors to learn location of food

Morris water maze


Spatial learning and memory

Escape latency, swimming distance, time spent in each quadrants, annulus crossing numbers

Animals are allowed freely swim to find a platform in swimming pool, guided by extramaze cues that surround the pool

Eyeblink classical conditioning


Associated learning

Number of paired trials required to reach the learning criterion (eg. 8 conditioned responses in 9 consecutive trials)

One eye held open. Conditioned stimulus such as a sound presented after unconditioned stimulus such as corneal airpuff. Paired trial present throughout the training. Minitorque potentiometer measures nictitating membrane/eyeblink response.

Open field


Behavioral reactivity

Movement activity (eg. Jump, rearing, locomotor, grooming), social behavior, aggressive behavior (strong blows with the hindpaws), emotional tension (number boluses), passive-defensive behavior (freezing time)

Video camera positioned above open field records behavior of animal in the open field apparatus during a specific time period

Discriminative avoidance/approach task



Number of training sessions required for animals to attain the criterion

Rabbits learn to prevent a foot-shock by stepping in a large activity wheel in response to a shock-predictive tone and they ignore different tone which does not predict the shock

Delayed-non-matching-to-position (DNMP)


Visuospatial learning/memory and working memory

Response-choice latency on the test trial

Animals are allowed to displace the red block and retrieve the food reward beneath the block on the sample trial. Animals are permitted access to the food reward by displacing the block over the non-match position on the test trial (inter-trial interval varies for working memory)

Open field


Exploratory and locomotor activity

Exploratory behavior, locomotion, inactivity, sniffing, urinating, jumping, rearing, vocalization

Video camera positioned above open field records behavior of animal in the open field apparatus during a specific time period

Object discrimination task


Working memory

Performance accuracy

Two wooden blocks that were identical except for color present as stimuli (eg black and white). Dogs are pre-trained to approach one of the two blocks to obtain food reward. Testing is repeated after SAH

Reversal task (usually followed by object or size discrimination task)


Executive function (inhibitory control, performance monitoring-eg reversal learning)

Total number of errors

Two identical wooden blocks in color and material, different only in size present as stimuli. Dogs learn the size preference for the food reward, followed by reversal learning in which the reward contingencies of positive and negative block are reversed

Jeon et al. BMC Neuroscience 2009 10:103   doi:10.1186/1471-2202-10-103

Open Data