The automated mouse reaching chamber allows researchers to simultaneously measure motor behavior, cognitive processing and motivation. The two chamber design allows you to test two animals at the same time. Use the 80875 Home Cage Training Hopper to facilitate training. Most labs add the 86060 Counter with Digital Display for a simple count of reach attempts. However, the counter could be connected to an AWM Interface for placing reach attempts in time bins, or the photo beams could be connected directly to an ABET Interface Package to time stamp and count reach events. With the chamber divider removed, and additional stimulus lamps, feeders etc. the reach task could be combined with a learned alternation task under ABET program control.
Motor Behavior: Skilled forepaw reaching behaviors are required to retrieve pellets from the food hopper.
- The gap between the pellet hopper and chamber discourages "scooping" behavior and encourages pellet grasping.
- Infrared recording accurately quantifies reach attempts as well as latency.
- Reach attempts exceeding the number of pellets removed from the hopper indicates unsuccessful attempts.
- Pellets removed or scooped from the hopper but dropped outside of the chamber into a drop pan indicate pellets grasped but not retrieved.
- Pellets that drop through the grid-floor into the waste pan indicate pellets successfully retrieved but not eaten.
Cognitive Processing: Two reaching holes on opposite walls allow researchers to alternate baited and non-baited hoppers within or between trials.
- Walls may be marked for visually cued cognitive tasks.
- Latency measures and non-baited hopper reach attempts are used to assess cognitive deficits.
Motivation: Latency measures from chamber introduction to the first reach attempt indicates motivation to retrieve pellets.
Advantages over other chambers
- Staircase reaching chamber can not assess cognitive functions.
- Trough-type reaching chambers do not discourage "scooping" behavior.
- Staircase and trough-type reaching chambers do not quantify unsuccessful reach attempts.
- Staircase and trough-type reaching chambers do not quantify latency measures.
- A home-cage pellet hopper is available for effortless, time saving and quantifiable training.
- Automated reaching chamber may be combined with other operant accessories
- Stimulus light or tone to indicate baited and / or non-baited hopper
- Press bar or nose-poke in combination with pellet feeder to supply hopper with a single reward
Overall Dimensions: 19.0" x 9.0" x 7.3"
Chamber Dimensions: 8.0" x 4.4" x 4.6"
Reach Gap: Fully adjustable from 0.125" to 2.00"
- End Walls - 0.032" Stainless Steel
- Side Walls 0.188" Clear Polycarbonate
- Lid - 0.188" Clear Polycarbonate
- Hoppers - Delrin with Stainless Steel Walls
- Pellet Drop Pans - 0.032" Stainless Steel
- Waste Pan - 0.032" Stainless Steel
- Grid Rods - Stainless Steel
Photo Detectors: Two durable industrial grade photo beam pairs
This stainless steel hopper is designed in such a way that the animal must grasp individual pellets in a manner similar to that required by the Paw Reach Test Chamber.
Uses an optical sensor to detect the total revolutions of the wheels with our without a computer interface.
The least expensive way to get started using ABET computer interface and software. Suitable for most single chamber applications.