SINGLE PELLET REACHING TASK
The Single Pellet Reaching Task (SPRT) consists in presenting a food pellet behind a transparent wall. The animal needs to pass its paw through a narrow slit to grab the pellet.
Our apparatus adds an operant conditioning aspect to the classical SPRT, because is it equipped with:
- 2 pads, detecting the contact of the animal’s paws,
- a cue-light, focused on the position of the pellet,
- a pellet dispenser,
- a pellet sensor, whihc detects if a pellet is present or not on the dispenser,
- a houselight,
- a sound generator,
- a synchronization kit, to trigger external devices according to behavioral events.
The apparaus is placed in a ventilated wooden cubicle, to isolate the system form the environment. The position of both pads and pellet dispenser may be totally adjustable, in order to optimize the task for each mouse according to its size.
Two high-frequency video cameras will be added to the system in order to decompose the pellet reaching movements of the animal through the slit.
Our software, as for every Imetronic apparatus, allows:
- easy editing of exercises (task schedules), library of exercises
- recording of all behavioral events and activations, …
- displaying behavioral outputs in real time
A software module is dedicated to the analysis of the recorded data. Il calculates output variables, as defined by the experimenter. As examples:
- number of distributed pellets, contacts with pads,
- kinetics of contacts with pads,
- delay between the activation of a stimulus and a contact with a pad, delay to reach the pellet,
This software displays the results in a Microsoft Excel compatible datasheet.