Our Animal Behavior Core supports innovative neurological research here at Ohio State.

The Rodent Behavior Core provides expertise and services for comprehensive phenotyping of mouse and rats models using a battery of standard behavioral paradigms.

The Core centralizes behavioral assessment facilities and expertise for neuroscience investigators, ensuring that behavioral testing is performed expertly and adheres to best practices in the field. Assessments provided range from sensorimotor, learning and memory, to motivated behavioral measures.

Available services

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Olfactory
  • Grip strength
  • Balance/motor skill

Learning and Memory:
  • Morris water maze
  • Barnes maze
  • Tone fear conditioning
  • Passive avoidance

  • Anxiety-like behaviors
  • Depressive-like behaviors
  • General activity

Social Behaviors:
  • Social preference
  • Aggression
  • Reproduction 

Please see our Terms of Service and User Fee Structure for specifics regarding use of this core.




Weil ZM, Norman GJ, DeVries AC, Berntson GG, Nelson RJ. Photoperiod alters autonomic regulation of the heart. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 17;106(11):4525-30. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810973106. Epub 2009 Feb 25. PMCID: PMC2657460

Weil ZM, Norman GJ, Karelina K, Morris JS, Barker JM, Su AJ, Walton JC, Bohinc S, Nelson RJ, DeVries AC. Sleep deprivation attenuates inflammatory responses and ischemic cell death. Exp Neurol. 2009 Jul;218(1):129-36. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.04.018. Epub 2009 May 3. PMCID: PMC2696570

Karelina K, Norman GJ, Zhang N, Morris JS, Peng H, DeVries AC. Social isolation alters neuroinflammatory response to stroke. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Apr 7;106(14):5895-900. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810737106. Epub 2009 Mar 23. PMCID: PMC2667090

Wang X, Bowers SL, Wang F, Pu XA, Nelson RJ, Ma J. Cytoplasmic prion protein induces forebrain neurotoxicity. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Jun;1792(6):555-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2009.02.014. Epub 2009 Mar 10.PMCID: PMC2693458

Neigh GN, Karelina K, Glasper ER, Bowers SL, Zhang N, Popovich PG, DeVries AC. Anxiety after cardiac arrest/cardiopulmonary resuscitation: exacerbated by stress and prevented by minocycline. Stroke. 2009 Nov;40(11):3601-7. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.109.564146. Epub 2009 Sep 17. PMCID: PMC2805193

Iscru E, Serinagaoglu Y, Schilling K, Tian J, Bowers-Kidder SL, Zhang R, Morgan JI, DeVries AC, Nelson RJ, Zhu MX, Oberdick J. Sensorimotor enhancement in mouse mutants lacking the Purkinje cell-specific Gi/o modulator, Pcp2(L7). Mol Cell Neurosci. 2009 Jan;40(1):62-75. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2008.09.002. Epub 2008 Oct 1. PubMed PMID: 18930827; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2637474.

Weil ZM, Karelina K, Su AJ, Barker JM, Norman GJ, Zhang N, Devries AC, Nelson RJ. Time-of-day determines neuronal damage and mortality after cardiac arrest. Neurobiol Dis. 2009 Nov;36(2):352-60. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2009.07.032. Epub 2009 Aug 5. PMCID: PMC2760634

Norman GJ, Karelina K, Zhang N, Walton JC, Morris JS, Devries AC. Stress and IL-1beta contribute to the development of depressive-like behavior following peripheral nerve injury. Mol Psychiatry. 2010 Apr;15(4):404-14. doi: 10.1038/mp.2009.91. Epub 2009 Sep 22. NIHMSID: NIHMS646933

Norman GJ, Karelina K, Morris JS, Zhang N, Cochran M, DeVries AC. Social interaction prevents the development of depressive-like behavior post nerve injury in mice: a potential role for oxytocin. Psychosom Med. 2010 Jul;72(6):519-26. Epub 2010 May 13. NIHMSID: NIHMS646938

Norman GJ, Zhang N, Morris JS, Karelina K, Berntson GG, DeVries AC. Social interaction modulates autonomic, inflammatory, and depressive-like responses to cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Sep 14;107(37):16342-7. Epub 2010 Aug 30. PMCID: PMC3941316

Karelina K, DeVries AC. Modeling social influences on human health. Psychosom Med. 2011 Jan;73(1):67-74. Epub 2010 Nov 19. PMCID: PMC3076601

Bedrosian, T.A., Herring, K.L., Weil, Z.M., & Nelson, R.J. 2011. Altered temporal patterns of anxiety in aged and amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108:11686-11691.

Norman GJ, Morris JS, Karelina K, Weil ZM, Zhang N, Al-Abed Y, Brothers HM, Wenk GL, Pavlov VA, Tracey KJ, DeVries AC. Cardiopulmonary arrest and resuscitation disrupts cholinergic anti-inflammatory processes: a role for cholinergic α7 nicotinic receptors. J Neurosci. 2011 Mar 2;31(9):3446-52. PMCID: PMC3758544

Jakeman LB, Hoschouer EL, Basso DM. Injured mice at the gym: review, results and considerations for combining chondroitinase and locomotor exercise to enhance recovery after spinal cord injury. Brain Res Bull. 2011 Mar 10;84(4-5):317-26. Epub 2010 Jun 15. PMCID: PMC3030989

Walton JC, Schilling K, Nelson RJ, Oberdick J. Sex-Dependent Behavioral Functions of the Purkinje Cell-Specific Gα1/o Binding Protein, Pcp2(L7). 2012 Cerebellum, 11:982-1004. NIHMSID: NIHMS646940

Yoon SO, Park DJ, Ryu JC, Ozer HG, Tep C, Shin YJ, Lim TE, Pastorino L, Kunwar AJ, Walton JC, Nagahara AH, Lu KP, Nelson RJ, Tuszynski MH and Huang K. 2012. JNK3 perpetuates metabolic stress induced by Abeta peptides. Neuron, 75:824-837. PMCID: PMC3438522

Walton JC, Selvakumar B, Weil ZM, Snyder SH, and Nelson RJ. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase and NADPH oxidase interact to affect cognitive, affective, and social behaviors in mice. Behavioural Brain Research. 2013 Nov 1;256:320-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2013.08.003. Epub 2013 Aug 12. PMCID: PMC3139743

Bedrosian TA, Vaughn CA, Weil ZM, and Nelson RJ. (2013) Behavioral of laboratory mice is altered by light pollution within the housing environment. Animal Welfare, 22: 483-487 PMCID: PMC Journal-In Process.

Fonken LK, Meléndez-Fernández OH, Weil ZM, and Nelson RJ. (2014) Exercise attenuates the metabolic effects of dim light at night. Physiology & Behavior, 124: 33-36. PMID: 24184414

Weil ZM, Gaier K, and Karelina K. (2014). Injury timing alters metabolic, functional and inflammatory outcomes following repeated mild traumatic brain injury. Neurobiology of Disease 70C: 108-116. PMID: 24983210

Karelina, K., Alzate-Correa, D., & Obrietan, K. (2014). Ribosomal S6 kinase regulates ischemia-induced progenitor cell proliferation in the adult mouse hippocampus. Experimental Neurology, 253, 72-81. PMID: 24291236

Borniger, J. C., McHenry, Z. D., Salloum, B. A. A., & Nelson, R. J. (2014). Exposure to dim light at night during early development increases adult anxiety-like responses. Physiology & Behavior, 133, 99-106. PMID: 24857721

Borniger, J. C., Maurya, S. K., Periasamy, M., & Nelson, R. J. (2014). Acute dim light at night increases body mass, alters metabolism, and shifts core body temperature circadian rhythms. Chronobiology International, 31(8), 917-925. PMID: 24933325

Aubrecht, T. G., Weil, Z. M., Salloum, B. A., Ariza, M. E., Williams, M., Reader, B., ... & Nelson, R. J. (2015). Chronic Physical Stress Does Not Interact with Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-Encoded Dutpase to Alter the Sickness Response. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 5(11), 513.

Aubrecht, T. G., Jenkins, R., Magalang, U. J., & Nelson, R. J. (2015). Influence of gonadal hormones on the behavioral effects of intermittent hypoxia in mice. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 308(6), R489-R499. PMID: 25552660

Fonken, L. K., Gaudet, A. D., Gaier, K. R., Nelson, R. J., & Popovich, P. G. (2015). MicroRNA-155 deletion reduces anxiety-and depressive-like behaviors in mice. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 63, 362-369. PMID:26555429

Ikeno, T., & Nelson, R. J. (2015). Acute melatonin treatment alters dendritic morphology and circadian clock gene expression in the hippocampus of Siberian Hamsters. Hippocampus, 25(2), 142-148. PMID: 25160468

Borniger, J. C., Gaudier-Diaz, M. M., Zhang, N., Nelson, R. J., & DeVries, A. C. (2015). Cytotoxic chemotherapy increases sleep and sleep fragmentation in non-tumor-bearing mice. Brain, behavior, and immunity 47: 218-227 PMID: 25449581

Liu, C., Fonken, L.F., Wang, A., Maiseyeu, A., Bai, Y., Wang, T.-Y., Maurya, S. Ko, A-Y., Periasamy, M., Dvonch, T., Morishita, M., Brook, R.D., Harkema, J., Ying, Z., Mukherjee, B., Sun, Q., Nelson, R.J. & Rajagopalan, S. 2015. Central IKKβ inhibition prevents air pollution mediated peripheral inflammation and exaggeration of type II diabetes. Particle and Fibre Toxicology, 11:53. PMID: 25358444

Hogan MK, Kovalycsik T, Sun Q, Rajagopalan S, Nelson RJ. Combined effects of exposure to dim light at night and fine particulate matter on C3H/HeNHsd mice. Behav Brain Res. 2015 Nov 1;294:81-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.07.033. Epub 2015 Jul 30. PubMed PMID: 26235330.

Aubrecht, T.G., Abi Salloum, B., Ariza, M.E., Williams, M., Reader, B., Glaser, R., Sheridan, J. & Nelson, R.J. 2015. Restraint induces sickness responses independent of injection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded dUTPase. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 4:491-505.

Contact the Department of Neuroscience

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Department of Neuroscience

333 W. 10th Ave. Columbus, OH 43210

Melissa Stenger

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