Study of Locomotor Activity & Exploration

Locomotor activity and exploration, fundamentally involved in many behavioral and physiological functions, are classically evaluated in various rodent models, because these behaviors are frequently affected by a wide range of factors, such as drug treatments, brain lesions, strain differences and genetic manipulations. Thus, the results of behavioral experiments designed to assess other neurobiological processes often cannot be properly interpreted without considering locomotor activity abilities.

The study of locomotor activity and exploration is particularly relevant for research involving circadian rhythms, phenotyping and drug testing.

Basal locomotor activity assessment and its evolution along the time in an open-field, is widely used for the study of the locomotor response to novelty or to an anxiogenic environment, as well as for the study of the effects of pharmacological treatment, lesion or genetic modification. •Exploration assessment through the Hole-board test is an experimental method used in scientific research to measure anxiety, stress, neophilia and emotionality in animals.

Circadian rhythms of locomotor activity are one of the most prominent biological rhythms which synchronize to the natural environmental light-dark cycle Exploration. The assessment of circadian rhythm in animal experimentation commonly involve the evaluation of the spontaneous locomotor activity and/or spontaneous exercise (activity wheel) in home cage conditions. Measurements and analysis of circadian rhythms of locomotor activities using this setup could be applied in various research issues such as chronobiological, neuroethological, physiological, and pharmacological studies.

Forced exercise in a treadmill test in rodents is a useful tool with a great value in the study of functional capacity and is a validated standard model for investigations in the field of human metabolism. This test allows the study of various physiological and behavioral functions such as long and short-term effort during exercise, metabolic exchanges, cardiac function, motor coordination and fatigue in rodents.

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