Animal Behaviour and Physiology Core

University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Phenotyping of mouse and rat behaviour and physiology

Areas of expertise

Located at the University of Ottawa within the Animal Care Vivarium at Roger Guindon Hall, this state-of-the-art facility has been equipped to serve as a time-efficient resource for researchers in need of mouse and rat behavioural analyses. Our equipment enables a full battery of assays relevant to learning and memory, social behaviour, sensorimotor gating motor function and coordination, anxiety and depression, and metabolism in sedentary and exercise contexts. Services are available in designing, training, executing, analyzing, interpreting and presenting data resulting from use of our facilities. 

Research services

Behaviourial tests for mice:

  • Acoustic Startle Response
  • Adhesive Removal Test
  • Adult Social Interaction
  • Barnes Maze
  • Beam Break
  • Buried Food Test
  • Bussey-Saksida Touchscreen System (available tests PAL, 5-CSRT, LD, PD, TUNL)
  • Conditioned Avoidance (Active or Passive)
  • Conditioned Place Preference
  • Cylinder Rearing Test
  • Dark Light Test
  • DigiGait
  • Elevated Plus Maze
  • Fear Conditioning
  • Forced Swim Test
  • Grip Strength
  • Hanging Wire Test
  • Horizontal Ladder
  • Juvenile Social Interaction
  • Learned Helplessness Test
  • Marble Burying Test
  • Morris Water Maze
  • Nest building
  • Novelty Suppressed Feeding
  • Object Recognition
  • Olfaction testing
  • Open Field
  • Pasta Matrix Reaching Test
  • Phenotyper
  • Pole Test
  • Prepulse Inhibition Test
  • Radial Maze
  • Resident Intruder Test
  • Rotarod
  • Rotational Behaviour
  • Running Wheels
  • Single Pellet Reaching Test
  • Social Defeat
  • Stair Case
  • Sucrose Preference
  • Tail Suspension
  • Tail Flick Test
  • T Maze
  • Three-Chamber Sociability Test
  • Ultrasonic Vocalization
  • Y-Maze (Spontaneous and Forced)


Behaviourial tests for rats:

  • Bussey-Saksida Touchscreen System (available tests PAL, 5-CSRT, LD, PD, TUNL)
  • DigiGait
  • Fear Conditioning
  • Grip Strength
  • Morris Water Maze
  • Object Recognition
  • Open Field
  • Prepulse Inhibition
  • Ultrasonic Vocalization


Physiology and exercise tests:

  • Comprehensive Live Animal Monitoring (CLAMS) - mice only
  • EchoMRI - mice and rats
  • Metabolic treadmill - mice and rats
  • Wireless implantable telemetry - mice and rats
  • Treadmill exercise system - mice and rats
  • Swim tank exercise system - mice and rats


Additional tests may be available upon request.  All tests can be conducted by users or on a contract basis by expert Core staff. Analysis of these tests is also available.

Sectors of application
  • Education
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
Equipment Function
Noldus EthoVision XT Video-tracking and analysis software used for various behavioural tests.
Noldus Observer Manual scoring tool of behaviour videos.
Noldus UltraVox XT and microphones Recording and analysis of ultrasonic communications.
DSI Telemetry physiological monitoring system Wireless recording from implanted transponders measuring a wide variety of physiological measures.
Plexon PlexBright Optogenetic Stimulation System Optogenetic stimulation of animals with implanted electrodes in home cage or behaviour settings.
DeepLabCut Machine learning program for scoring behaviours from video databases.
Bussey-Saksida Touchscreen System Programmable touch screen testing, equipped with PAL, 5-CSRT, LD, PD, and TUNL test programs.
Columbus CLAMS Comprehensive Lab Animal Monitoring System Continuous metabolic monitoring of multiple animals in a home cage or exercise context.
EchoMRI-700 Lean and fat body mass and water content analysis of awake mice.
MedAssociates Wireless Home Cage Running Wheels Non-invasive, long-term measurement of activity in a home cage setting.
  • University of Ottawa
  • Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
  • Institute of Mental Health Research
  • Neuroscience Research Institute
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