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.




Traumatic brain injuries during development disrupt dopaminergic signaling
Karelina K, Gaier KR, Weil ZM.
Exp Neurol. 2017 Nov;297:110-117. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2017.08.003. Epub 2017 Aug 9. PMID: 28802560

Mammary Tumors Induce Central Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Expression, but Not Behavioral Deficits in Balb/C Mice 
Walker II WH, Borniger JC, Surbhi, Zalenski AA, Muscarella SL, Fitzgerald JA, Zhang N, Gaudier-Diaz MM, DeVries AC. 
Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 15;7(1):8152. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-07596-9. 
PMID: 28811490

Traumatic brain injuries during development: Implications for alcohol abuse 
Weil ZM, Karelina K.
Front Behav Neurosci. 2017 Jul 20;11:135. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00135. eCollection 2017. PMID: 28775682

Binge ethanol in adulthood exacerbates negative outcomes following juvenile traumatic brain injury 
Karelina K, Gaier KR, Prabhu M, Wenger V, Corrigan TE, Weil ZM.
Brain Behav Immun. 2017 Feb;60:304-311. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2016.11.009. Epub 2016 Nov 12. 
PMID: 27845195

Photoperiodic regulation of behavior: Peromyscus as a model system 
Borniger JC, Nelson RJ. Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2017 Jan;61:82-91. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2016.06.015. Epub 2016 Jun 23. 
PMID: 27346738


Dim light at night prior to adolescence increases adult anxiety-like behaviors 
Cisse YM, Peng J, Nelson RJ. Chronobiol Int. 2016;33(10):1473-1480. Epub 2016 Sep 3. 
PMID: 27592634

Photoperiodic Regulation of Cerebral Blood Flow in White-Footed Mice (Peromyscus leucopus)
Borniger JC, Teplitsky S, Gnyawali S, Nelson RJ, Rink C.
eNeuro. 2016 Jul 27;3(4). pii: ENEURO.0058-16.2016. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0058-16.2016. eCollection 2016 Jul-Aug.
PMID: 27570829

Cyclin A2 promotes DNA repair in the brain during both development and aging 
Gygli PE, Chang JC, Gokozan HN, Catacutan FP, Schmidt TA, Kaya B, Goksel M, Baig FS, Chen S, Griveau A, Michowski W, Wong M, Palanichamy K, Sicinski P, Nelson RJ, Czeisler C, Otero JJ.
Aging (Albany NY). 2016 Jul;8(7):1540-70. doi: 10.18632/aging.100990. 
PMID: 27425845

miR-155 Deletion in Female Mice Prevents Diet-Induced Obesity 
Gaudet AD, Fonken LK, Gushchina LV, Aubrecht TG, Maurya SK, Periasamy M, Nelson RJ, Popovich PG.
Science Rep. 2016 8; 6:22862 doi: 10.1038/srep22862. 
PMID: 26953132

Behavioral abnormalities in mice lacking mesenchyme-specific PTEN 
Borniger JC, Cisse YM, Cantemir-Stone CZ, Bolon B, Nelson RJ, Marsh CB.
Behav Brain Res. 2016 304:80-5 
PMID: 26876012

Traumatic brain injury and obesity induce persistent central insulin resistance 
Karelina K, Sarac B, Freeman LM, Gaier KR, Weil ZM.
Eur J Neurosci. 2016 Apr;43(8):1034-43. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13194. Epub 2016 Mar 11. 
PMID: 26833850

Cognitive deficits develop 1month after diffuse brain injury and are exaggerated by microglia-associated reactivity to peripheral immune challenge 
Muccigrosso MM, Ford J, Benner B, Moussa D, Burnsides C, Fenn AM, Popovich PG, Lifshitz J, 
Walker FR, Eiferman DS, Godbout JP. 
Brain Behav Immun. 2016 May;54:95-109. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2016.01.009. Epub 2016 Jan 14. 
PMID: 26774527

Targeted deletion of miR-132/-212 impairs memory and alters the hippocampal transcriptome 
Hansen KF, Sakamoto K, Aten S, Snider KH, Loeser J, Hesse AM, Page CE, Pelz C, Arthur JS, Impey S, Obrietan K.
Learn Mem. 2016 Jan 15;23(2):61-71. doi: 10.1101/lm.039578.115. Print 2016 Feb. 
PMID: 26773099

Juvenile traumatic Brain Injury Increases Alcohol Consumption and Reward in Female Mice 
Weil ZM, Karelina K, Gaier KR, Corrigan TE, Corrigan JD.
J Neurotrauma. 2016 May 1;33(9):895-903. doi: 10.1089/neu.2015.3953. Epub 2015 Oct 8. PMID: 26153729


Chronic Physical Stress Does Not Interact with Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-Encoded dUTPase to Alter the Sickness Response 
Aubrecht TG, Weil ZM, Abi Salloum B, Ariza ME, Williams M, Reader B, Glaser R, Sheridan J, Nelson RJ.  
J Behav Brain Sci. 2015 Oct;5(11):513-523. Epub 2015 Oct 27. 
PMID: 27175311

Influence of gonadal hormones on the behavioral effects of intermittent hypoxia in mice 
Aubrecht TG, Jenkins R, Magalang UJ, Nelson RJ.
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2015 Mar 15;308(6):R489-99. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00379.2014. Epub 2014 Dec 31.. 
PMID: 25552660

MicroRNA-155 deletion reduces anxiety-and depressive-like behaviors in mice 
Fonken LK, Gaudet AD, Gaier KR, Nelson RJ, Popovich PG. 
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016 Jan;63:362-9. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.10.019. Epub 2015 Nov 2. 

Acute melatonin treatment alters dendritic morphology and circadian clock gene expression in the hippocampus of Siberian Hamsters 
Ikeno T, Nelson, RJ.
Hippocampus. 2015 Feb;25(2):142-8. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22358. Epub 2014 Sep 25. 
PMID: 25160468

Cytotoxic chemotherapy increases sleep and sleep fragmentation in non-tumor-bearing mice 
Borniger JC, Gaudier-Diaz MM, Zhang N, Nelson RJ, DeVries AC.
Brain Behav Immun. 2015 Jul;47:218-27. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2014.11.001. Epub 2014 Nov 13. 
PMID: 25449581 

Central IKKβ inhibition prevents air pollution mediated peripheral inflammation and exaggeration of type II diabetes 
Liu C, Fonken LF, Wang A, Maiseyeu A, Bai Y, Wang T-Y, Maurya S, Ko A-Y, Periasamy M, Dvonch T, Morishita M, Brook RD, Harkema J, Ying Z, Mukherjee B, Sun Q, Nelson RJ, Rajagopalan S.  
Part Fibre Toxicol. 2014 Oct 30;11:53. doi: 10.1186/s12989-014-0053-5. 
PMID: 25358444

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




Exercise attenuates the metabolic effects of dim light at night 
Fonken LK, Meléndez-Fernández OH, Weil ZM, and Nelson RJ. 
Physiol Behav. 2014 Jan 30;124:33-6. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.10.022. Epub 2013 Oct 30. PMID: 24184414

Injury timing alters metabolic, functional and inflammatory outcomes following repeated mild traumatic brain injury 
Weil ZM, Gaier K, Karelina K. 
Neurobiol Dis. 2014 Oct;70:108-16. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2014.06.016. Epub 2014 Jun 28. 
PMID: 24983210

Ribosomal S6 kinase regulates ischemia-induced progenitor cell proliferation in the adult mouse hippocampus 
Karelina K, Alzate-Correa D, Obrietan K. 
Exp Neurol. 2014 Mar;253:72-81. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2013.11.022. Epub 2013 Dec 1. PMID: 24291236

Acute dim light at night increases body mass, alters metabolism, and shifts core body temperature circadian rhythms 
Borniger JC, Maurya SK, Periasamy M, Nelson RJ.
Chronobiol Int. 2014 Oct;31(8):917-25. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2014.926911. Epub 2014 Jun 16. 
PMID: 24933325

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded dUTPase and chronic restraint induce impaired learning and memory and sickness responses
Aubrecht, TG, Abi Salloum B, Ariza ME, Williams M, Reader B, Glaser R, Sheridan J, Nelson RJ. 
Physiol Behav. 2014 Oct;137:18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.07.001. Epub 2014 Jul 15.
PMID: 25034413


Neuronal nitric oxide synthase and NADPH oxidase interact to affect cognitive, affective, and social behaviors in mice 
Walton JC, Selvakumar B, Weil ZM, Snyder SH, Nelson RJ.  
Behav Brain Res. 2013 Nov 1;256:320-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2013.08.003. Epub 2013 Aug 12.PMID: 23948215

Behavior of laboratory mice is altered by light pollution within the housing environment 
Bedrosian TA, Vaughn CA, Weil ZM, Nelson RJ. 
Animal Welfare 2013, 22: 483-487 doi: 10.7120/09627286.22.4.483 

Exposure to dim light at night during early development increases adult anxiety-like responses 
Borniger, JC, McHenry, ZD, Salloum, BAA, Nelson, RJ. 
Physiol Behav. 2014 Jun 22;133:99-106. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.05.012. Epub 2014 May 21. 
PMID: 24857721


Sex-Dependent Behavioral Functions of the Purkinje Cell-Specific Gα1/o Binding Protein, Pcp2(L7)
Walton JC, Schilling K, Nelson RJ, Oberdick J. 
Cerebellum. 2012 Dec;11(4):982-1001. doi: 10.1007/s12311-012-0368-4. 
PMID: 22528962

JNK3 perpetuates metabolic stress induced by Abeta peptides 
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. 
Neuron. 2012 Sep 6;75(5):824-37. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.06.024. 
PMID: 22958823


Altered temporal patterns of anxiety in aged and amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgenic mice 
Bedrosian TA, Herring KL, Weil ZM, Nelson RJ.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jul 12;108(28):11686-91. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1103098108. Epub 2011 Jun 27.
PMID: 21709248

Cardiopulmonary arrest and resuscitation disrupts cholinergic anti-inflammatory processes: a role for cholinergic α7 nicotinic receptors 
Norman GJ, Morris JS, Karelina K, Weil ZM, Zhang N, Al-Abed Y, Brothers HM, Wenk GL, Pavlov VA, Tracey KJ, DeVries AC.
J Neurosci. 2011 Mar 2;31(9):3446-52. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4558-10.2011.
PMID: 21368056

Injured mice at the gym: review, results and considerations for combining chondroitinase and locomotor exercise to enhance recovery after spinal cord injury 
Jakeman LB, Hoschouer EL, Basso DM. 
Brain Res Bull. 2011 Mar 10;84(4-5):317-26. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2010.06.002. Epub 2010 Jun 15.
PMID: 20558254


Social interaction prevents the development of depressive-like behavior post nerve injury in mice: a potential role for oxytocin.

Norman GJ, Karelina K, Morris JS, Zhang N, Cochran M, DeVries AC.

Psychosom Med. 2010 Jul;72(6):519-26. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181de8678. Epub 2010 May 13.

PMID: 20466999


Social interaction modulates autonomic, inflammatory, and depressive-like responses to cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Norman GJ, Zhang N, Morris JS, Karelina K, Berntson GG, DeVries AC.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Sep 14;107(37):16342-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1007583107. Epub 2010 Aug 30.

PMID: 20805484


Modeling social influences on human health.

Karelina K, DeVries AC.

Psychosom Med. 2011 Jan;73(1):67-74. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182002116. Epub 2010 Nov 19.

PMID: 21097660


Photoperiod alters autonomic regulation of the heart 
Weil ZM, Norman GJ, DeVries AC, Berntson GG, Nelson RJ. 
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 17;106(11):4525-30. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810973106. Epub 2009 Feb 25.
PMID: 19246380

Sleep deprivation attenuates inflammatory responses and ischemic cell death 
Weil ZM, Norman GJ, Karelina K, Morris JS, Barker JM, Su AJ, Walton JC, Bohinc S, Nelson RJ, DeVries AC. 
Exp Neurol. 2009 Jul;218(1):129-36. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2009.04.018. Epub 2009 May 3. PMID: 19409382

Social isolation alters neuroinflammatory response to stroke 
Karelina K, Norman GJ, Zhang N, Morris JS, Peng H, DeVries AC. 
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Apr 7;106(14):5895-900. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810737106. Epub 2009 Mar 23. 
PMID: 19307557

Cytoplasmic prion protein induces forebrain neurotoxicity 
Wang X, Bowers SL, Wang F, Pu XA, Nelson RJ, Ma J.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Jun;1792(6):555-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2009.02.014. Epub 2009 Mar 10. 
PMID: 19281844

Anxiety after cardiac arrest/cardiopulmonary resuscitation: exacerbated by stress and prevented by minocycline 
Neigh GN, Karelina K, Glasper ER, Bowers SL, Zhang N, Popovich PG, DeVries AC.  
Stroke. 2009 Nov;40(11):3601-7. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.109.564146. Epub 2009 Sep 17. PMID: 19762688

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

Time-of-day determines neuronal damage and mortality after cardiac arrest 
Weil ZM, Karelina K, Su AJ, Barker JM, Norman GJ, Zhang N, Devries AC, Nelson RJ. Neurobiol Dis. 2009 Nov;36(2):352-60. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2009.07.032. Epub 2009 Aug 5. PMID: 19664712

Stress and IL-1beta contribute to the development of depressive-like behavior following peripheral nerve injury 
Norman GJ, Karelina K, Zhang N, Walton JC, Morris JS, Devries AC. 
Mol Psychiatry. 2010 Apr;15(4):404-14. doi: 10.1038/mp.2009.91. Epub 2009 Sep 22. 
PMID: 19773812

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