The animal behavioral monitoring unit characterizes the effects of substances of interest, such as different toxicants and their antidotes, on multiple aspects of animal behavior and cognition. These include sensory and motor, cognitive and emotional processes. To that end, we utilize a multitude of state-of-the-art behavioral monitoring devices, including designated mazes, hardware and software, allowing monitoring of diverse aspects of animal behavior in a variety of animal models (from rodents to primates). Applying these tools, an ongoing extensive characterization of the cognitive and behavioral effects of organophosphorus nerve agents (OPNA) exposure, as well as the efficacy of different antidotes in mitigating these effects, is conducted. In a related line of study, cognitive and behavioral effects of antidotes considered for use as prophylactics against OPNA are evaluated, to ascertain the feasibility of their use in such an indication in terms of functional side effects.
Behavioral assessment using an elevated plus maze and open field assays
Movie: Anxiety evaluation by using the elevated plus maze test
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