Katherine Nautiyal from Dartmouth College has kindly shared the following about DIY-NAMIC, a high-throughput method to measure complex phenotypes in the homecage.
‘Operant behavioral paradigms provide rich data sets which are very useful for assessing manipulations in rodents models for neuropsychiatric disorders. However, the behavioral testing generally requires daily training for many weeks resulting in a lot of experimenter effort and also expensive commercial equipment. We developed a DIY-Nautiyal Automated Modular Instrumental Conditioning (DIY-NAMIC) system as a homecage automated open-source behavioral testing system to enable high-throughput 24h testing of many standard operant paradigms. Using an Arduino platform and easily sourced inexpensive components, the DIY-NAMIC system can display light cues and dispense liquid rewards and has nosepoke receptacles with infrared detectors for operant responses, within the homecage. We have shown its utility for measuring complex behavior during the short period of mouse adolescence and in pharmacology studies. All build materials and instructions, Arduino code, and Python scripts for analysis are available online at https://github.com/DIY-NAMICsystem.’
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