Mice are the most common mammalian models used in biomedical research and are especially important for understanding how certain genetic mutations affect behavior. Behavior tests in mice, although they may appear simple, are notoriously prone to operator error. In addition to meticulous attention to experimental details, scientists also need to take other motor and sensory issues into account while interpreting the data. Unfortunately, many researchers do not have specialized training in rodent behavior and conduct or interpret behavioral tests incorrectly. These false data then taint the literature and lead to erroneous assumptions based on which many future studies are conducted.
Spectrum News, a leading news site that provides comprehensive analysis of autism research, recently spoke with autism researchers schooled in mouse behavior, including Dr. Rodney Samaco, assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine and investigator at the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, about what can go wrong with behavior tests — and how to avoid those traps.
Read the article that describes their findings.