Brian Isett, a graduate researcher in the Feldman Lab at UC Berkeley writes, “Measuring licks using a lickometer can provide an intuitive and simple signal for scientists studying many aspects of rodent behavior. Commercial lickometers are often bulky and expensive, easily costing a few hundred dollars. In the Feldman Lab, we designed a small and inexpensive lickometer with parts costing less than $20. The lickometer employs an infrared beam and sensor to minimize electrical noise artifacts during neurophysiology experiments and can be easily mounted in a micromanipulator for precise and repeatable positioning.
This open-source lickometer was designed in conjunction with an open-source water delivery system. Together, these provide the basic hardware for a DIY behavioral assay and reward system for mice.”