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Title: The head-fixed behaving rat--procedures and pitfalls.
Authors: Schwarz, C.
Hentschke, H.
Butovas, S.
Haiss, F.
Stüttgen, M. C.
Gerdjikov, Todor V.
Bergner, C. G.
Waiblinger, C.
First Published: 18-Oct-2010
Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Informa Healthcare
Citation: Somatosensory and Motor Research, 2010, 27 (4), pp. 131-148
Abstract: This paper describes experimental techniques with head-fixed, operantly conditioned rodents that allow the control of stimulus presentation and tracking of motor output at hitherto unprecedented levels of spatio-temporal precision. Experimental procedures for the surgery and behavioral training are presented. We place particular emphasis on potential pitfalls using these procedures in order to assist investigators who intend to engage in this type of experiment. We argue that head-fixed rodent models, by allowing the combination of methodologies from molecular manipulations, intracellular electrophysiology, and imaging to behavioral measurements, will be instrumental in combining insights into the functional neuronal organization at different levels of observation. Provided viable behavioral methods are implemented, model systems based on rodents will be complementary to current primate models--the latter providing highest comparability with the human brain, while the former offer hugely advanced methodologies on the lower levels of organization, for example, genetic alterations, intracellular electrophysiology, and imaging.
DOI Link: 10.3109/08990220.2010.513111
eISSN: 1369-1651
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2010 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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