Behavior Testing Core


Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Behavior Testing Core - Services


Getting Started

4 simple steps to becoming a BTC user:
  1. Contact to request specific tests -OR- consult with us to develop a model for you
  2. Add procedures to a new or existing IACUC protocol. BTC can provide IACUC ready procedures and assistance with the submission process
  3. BTC provides training to investigator’s personnel for independent equipment use -OR- BTC can provide full testing service
  4. Collect raw data -OR- request BTC provide the data analyses, summaries, or reports

Selecting and Preparing Test Subjects

All laboratory rodents are not created equal. Even among highly controlled inbred strains, behavioral variability within the same group is a naturally occurring phenomenon. The following factors can contribute further to this variability and should be considered when selecting test subjects: Age, strain, sex, breeding environment, housing, pre-test experience, and environmental conditions.

Most behavioral tests require 8-12 characteristically matched subjects per group before statistically significant differences are detectable. This helps ensure that your outcome is a true representation of a behavioral phenotype and not an artifact of design. Certain protocols require that test subjects be trained at a particular task before performance is measured and occasionally some fail to “train to criterion” independent of treatment. When this occurs, subjects are excluded from the data. Whenever possible, begin with sample sizes of 12-15 per group to maintain optimal sample sizes for analyses.


  • Standard protocols and customized battery of tests available on request
  • Assistance is provided for IACUC protocol modifications and submissions