CognitionWall Discrimination learning

automated-home-cage-based-discrimination-learningEvaluation of discrimination learning

Using the CognitionWall™, we developed a one-night automated test to efficiently identify discrimination learning impairments in mice, without time-consuming handling of mice. The CognitionWall is a wall with three entrances that is placed in front of a food dispenser in the automated home-cage. Mice are rewarded with a food reward when they choose to pass through one of the three entrances. The rate at which a mouse gains a relative preference for the rewarded entrance is used as a measure of discrimination learning.

Screening of cognitive impairments in MK-801-induced and AD mouse models

Acute induction of cognitive impairments with NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 significantly increases the number of entries required for reaching the discrimination learning criterion. Mouse models for Alzheimer’s disease also consistently display impaired discrimination learning in this test compared with wild-type littermates. Automated discrimination learning can be used to efficiently screen for cognitive enhancers and potential therapeutics for AD in these models.

Comprehensive automated phenotyping

Especially when observations of discrimination learning are combined with several other tests in the same cage, targeting different behavioural domains, a highly detailed profile of a novel mouse mutant can be generated in a matter of a few days.