The Morphing Context Fear Conditioning apparatus is an enriched version of our Fear Conditioning apparatus, with different elements of the context (odor, floor, cage, light) that may be modified during the experiment.
MORPHING CONTEXT FEAR CONDITIONING
The Morphing Context Fear Conditioning apparatus is a sophisticated version of our Fear Conditioning apparatus. In this apparatus, several elements of the context may be modified in real time during an experiment.
The cornerstone of the apparatus is similar to the Fear Conditioning:
a tight infrared frame to detect every movement and freezing behavior, and rearing as well
a ventilated, soundproof, and faradized wooden cubicle
a square transparent cage, an opaque cylindric cage
a scrambled electric shock generator
a sound generator, which may play pure tones from our sound board or WAV files from PC
The specificity of the Morphing Context Fear Conditioning apparatus is to additionnaly be equipped with:
a grid fllor that may be turned into a smooth floor, and conversely,
an odor diffuser, with a purge system,
several types of lighting, which radically modify rhe context in the cage,
a system to change the context from the opaque cylindric cage to the square transparent one
All these adaptations allow during the experiment, to change progressively or radically the different elements of the context.
The software allows :
easy editing of exercises (task schedules), library of exercises
recording of all locomotor movements, freezing, rearings, and of the activation of the electric shock, cue-lights, sound, clocks, …
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 and duration of freezings,
locomotor activity, rearing activity,
kinetics (per customized time unit) of the freezing, activity and rearings,
the delay between the emission of the sound and the begining of the freezing,
This software displays the results in a Microsoft Excel compatible datasheet.
Coupling with Electrophysiology / Optogenetics
We propose solutions to couple the analysis of the Fear conditioning with electrophysiological recordings and optogenetic activation.
a communication system to send TTLs pulses to an external device (such as a electrophysiological Input board). These electric signals are synchronous with the events that we manage on our software. In this way, all the events (anilal behavior as well as activation of actuators) will be signed on your electrophysiological trace.
a rotation and rearing compensator, compatible with any optical commutator,
a device to activate lasers. This accessory sends electric signals up to 500Hz. The experimenter decides the exact moment according to clocks or behavioral outputs at which a customized train of pulses may be sent to the laser to specifically activate the aimed bunch of neurons.