Behavioral Research Blog

Neuroscience 2015 – Baby steps

Posted by G. Smit on Oct 19, 2015

Sunday, October 18th - After helping out my colleagues set up the booth on Saturday, Sunday was my first ‘actual’ SfN day. As a first-timer, I tried to prepare for Neuroscience 2015, but quickly found that you really cannot. It is overwhelming – in a good way. It is like a playground for scientists and anyone interested in what goes on in the brain. And even though there are enough people here to fill a city, it feels like a welcoming community.

Spending the energy

There is so much going on, that it’s hard to decide what booth to see, which lecture to go to, or which poster to visit.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Danio rerio, DanioVision, CatWalk XT, PhenoTyper, ErasmusLadder, automated tube test, 2015, neuroscience

How to measure the social behavior of Fragile X mice

Posted by G. Smit on Feb 20, 2015

Fragile X syndrome (FXS), formerly known as mental retardation, is a common developmental disorder with a prevalence of 1 in 3600 to 4000 males and 1 in 4000 to 6000 females (www.fragilex.org). Besides the intellectual challenges, patients often show behavioral abnormalities, which in a large part of the male patients strongly resembles autism-like behavior. Unfortunately, treatment of FXS is limited to the symptoms – think of behavioral therapy or pharmaceuticals to treat attentional deficits, anxiety, and impulse control problems.

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Topics: mice, social hierarchy, automated tube test, Fragile X syndrome

How males and females are different: can this explain autism?

Posted by G. Smit on Jan 22, 2015

Women and Venus, men and Mars, right? Men and women are fundamentally, biologically, and emotionally different. We also act differently in social situations. Wouter van den Berg and his colleagues at the Erasmus University Medical Center (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) recently published an interesting study that, using mice, shows the establishment of social hierarchies as being sex-dependent.

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Topics: mice, social hierarchy, testosterone, gender differences, sex-specific behavior, automated tube test

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