Object Recognition

Evaluation of recognition memory

The object recognition test is used to test the memory for the shape or size of objects, and the location of objects. First, animals are habituated to the test environment, an open white plastic arena. The test day is divided into three phases: familiarization, novel place (NP), and novel object (NO) recognition. During the initial familiarization stage, mice explore two identical objects that are placed in the arena. For NP recognition testing (minutes to hours later, depending on the research question), mice are re-introduced into the same arena with identical objects, of which one is placed in a novel location. For NO recognition testing, mice are re-introduced into the same arena with a familiar object and a novel object. Memory performance is measured by the relative duration a mouse is investigating the displaced or novel object.

object-recognitionSynaptic dysfunction affects novel object recognition

SNAP-25 is a gene that is localized to synapses of the central nervous system, and is essential for proper synapse function. The gene is genetically associated with several psychiatric diseases, including ADHD. In collaboration with our partners, we previously reported an impaired novel object memory performance in SNAP-25 heterozygous knockout mice, in line with abnormalities in other memory tasks1.

A more detailed protocol for the object recognition test can be found here.

1Epileptiform activity and cognitive deficits in SNAP-25(+/-) mice are normalized by antiepileptic drugs. Corradini, Loos et al., Cereb Cortex. 2014; 24:364