Self Head-Restraining System

The system teaches mice to perform voluntary head-restriction by automating the learning process, which greatly improves the efficiency and accuracy of head-restricted rodent behavior.

  • Mice learn voluntary head-restriction in as little as two weeks
  • The automated learning process removes experimenter bias and reduces experimenter labor
  • Train up to 4 mice per day with a single platform

The ability to record neural activity during mouse behavior provides an opportunity to understand brain function at a new level of detail. Head-restrained behavioral assays in mice are perfect for this purpose because they allow real-time monitoring of neural circuits during complex operant behavior. However, traditionally, training mice to feel comfortable under head-restriction procedures has proven to be extremely laborious and time-consuming. Prior to head-restrained training procedures in mice, experimenters must habituate the mouse to the head-restriction process and can take up to several weeks without this system. Add training time for your head-restrained behavioral assays and now you are looking at several months to train a single mouse to perform head-restrained operant behavior. Using the Self Head-Restraining Platform, you can cut down training time by 90%.

Features

The self head-restraining platform automates the entire mouse head-restriction process through operant training principles. Mice are guided to walk through a narrowing corridor and into a head-latching stage that lowers by gravity. Once latched, mice can receive timed water rewards for the remainder of the session. By attaching to the home cage, mice have extended access to the platform to learn voluntary head-restriction under lower stress conditions. This also reduces experimenter time and labor, allowing you to begin head-restrained training procedures much sooner.

Task Forcer with Gonio Unit for Imaging

Main setup

The Self Head-Restraining System attaches to the home cage creating a low stress environment and allowing mice to learn on their own time.

After self head-restriction, the latching unit automatically releases the mice after 20 min allowing them to return to the home cage.

Head-fixation unit

Head-restriction unit

Weight scale unit for automatic weight measurement and equipped with a wheel and water delivery reward system.

Spout Lever with Adapter (Max stroke: 18.8 mm; Min torque: 2 g)

Wheel

See the Self Head-Restraining System in action.

Previously training a mouse under head-fixation took me about 15 hours! Now with the platform, we have cut training time down to an hour and a half.

Dr. Andrea Benucci

RIKEN Center for Brain Science

Publications

Aoki, R., Tsubota, T., Goya, Y., & Benucci, A. An automated platform for high-throughput mouse behavior and physiology with voluntary head-fixation. (2017). A Nature communications8(1), 1-9.19).

NEWS:

Moving neuroscience into the fast lane

“A new high-throughput system with an industrial approach can standardize experiments to facilitate reproducibility and data sharing.

At the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan, a two-year project from Andrea Benucci’s research group and O’Hara and Co LTD. has culminated in the construction and deployment of a high-throughput system to study mouse behavior and physiology. The system aims to deliver larger, standardized datasets, a reduction in the number of experimental animals, and time-savings through complete automation.”

Read the full post from the Science Daily.

Parts and Accessories

Specifications

Platform Dimensions: 335 (W) x 210 (D) x 118 (H) mm
Corridor Dimensions: 3o (W) x 30 (H) 

Blog Entries

Mice Learn Voluntary Head-Restriction

Mice Learn Voluntary Head-Restriction

In this video, we will walk you through how exactly mice learn to self head-restrain using the self head-restraining platform. The concept is quite simple and relies on operant or classical conditioning principles.

Mice Learn Voluntary Head-Restriction

Mice Learn Voluntary Head-Restriction

In this video, we will walk you through how exactly mice learn to self head-restrain using the self head-restraining platform. The concept is quite simple and relies on operant or classical conditioning principles.

Questions?