Procedures for behavioral experiments in head-fixed mice

Zengcai V. Guo, S. Andrew Hires, Nuo Li, Daniel H. O'Connor, Takaki Komiyama, Eran Ophir, Daniel Huber, Claudia Bonardi, Karin Morandell, Diego Gutnisky, Simon Peron, Ning Long Xu, James Cox, Karel Svoboda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The mouse is an increasingly prominent model for the analysis of mammalian neuronal circuits. Neural circuits ultimately have to be probed during behaviors that engage the circuits. Linking circuit dynamics to behavior requires precise control of sensory stimuli and measurement of body movements. Head-fixation has been used for behavioral research, particularly in non-human primates, to facilitate precise stimulus control, behavioral monitoring and neural recording. However, choicebased, perceptual decision tasks by head-fixed mice have only recently been introduced. Training mice relies on motivating mice using water restriction. Here we describe procedures for head-fixation, water restriction and behavioral training for head-fixed mice, with a focus on active, whisker-based tactile behaviors. In these experiments mice had restricted access to water (typically 1 ml/day). After ten days of water restriction, body weight stabilized at approximately 80% of initial weight. At that point mice were trained to discriminate sensory stimuli using operant conditioning. Head-fixed mice reported stimuli by licking in go/no-go tasks and also using a forced choice paradigm using a dual lickport. In some cases mice learned to discriminate sensory stimuli in a few trials within the first behavioral session. Delay epochs lasting a second or more were used to separate sensation (e.g. tactile exploration) and action (i.e. licking). Mice performed a variety of perceptual decision tasks with high performance for hundreds of trials per behavioral session. Up to four months of continuous water restriction showed no adverse health effects. Behavioral performance correlated with the degree of water restriction, supporting the importance of controlling access to water. These behavioral paradigms can be combined with cellular resolution imaging, random access photostimulation, and whole cell recordings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere88678
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 10 2014

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Head
Water
mice
Experiments
Networks (circuits)
water
Behavioral research
Touch
operant conditioning
Behavioral Research
Operant Conditioning
Vibrissae
body measurements
Patch-Clamp Techniques
Health
Imaging techniques
Primates
Monitoring
adverse effects
Body Weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Guo, Z. V., Hires, S. A., Li, N., O'Connor, D. H., Komiyama, T., Ophir, E., ... Svoboda, K. (2014). Procedures for behavioral experiments in head-fixed mice. PLoS One, 9(2), [e88678]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088678

Procedures for behavioral experiments in head-fixed mice. / Guo, Zengcai V.; Hires, S. Andrew; Li, Nuo; O'Connor, Daniel H.; Komiyama, Takaki; Ophir, Eran; Huber, Daniel; Bonardi, Claudia; Morandell, Karin; Gutnisky, Diego; Peron, Simon; Xu, Ning Long; Cox, James; Svoboda, Karel.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 9, No. 2, e88678, 10.02.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Guo, ZV, Hires, SA, Li, N, O'Connor, DH, Komiyama, T, Ophir, E, Huber, D, Bonardi, C, Morandell, K, Gutnisky, D, Peron, S, Xu, NL, Cox, J & Svoboda, K 2014, 'Procedures for behavioral experiments in head-fixed mice', PLoS One, vol. 9, no. 2, e88678. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088678
Guo ZV, Hires SA, Li N, O'Connor DH, Komiyama T, Ophir E et al. Procedures for behavioral experiments in head-fixed mice. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 10;9(2). e88678. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0088678
Guo, Zengcai V. ; Hires, S. Andrew ; Li, Nuo ; O'Connor, Daniel H. ; Komiyama, Takaki ; Ophir, Eran ; Huber, Daniel ; Bonardi, Claudia ; Morandell, Karin ; Gutnisky, Diego ; Peron, Simon ; Xu, Ning Long ; Cox, James ; Svoboda, Karel. / Procedures for behavioral experiments in head-fixed mice. In: PLoS One. 2014 ; Vol. 9, No. 2.
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