Animal Phenotyping (AP) Core

AP Core Director:

Dr. Gary Schwartz

AP Core Assistant Directors:

Dr. Craig Branch
Dr. Maria Gulinello


The Animal Phenotyping (AP) Core assists investigators seeking to discover behavioral, physiological, structural and metabolic phenotypes in diverse rodent models of intellectual and developmental disabilities. The core performs studies in mice and rats to identify the functional alterations resulting from genetic, developmental or environmental manipulations that may impair neural and behavioral development. These include changes in developmental milestones, sensorimotor function, cognitive function, affective and social behaviors, feeding and activity patterns, body composition and energy expenditure.


The AP Core accomplishes its goals through SubCores focused on (1) metabolism, (2) behavior, (3) brain imaging and (4) electroencephalography. By combining existing capabilities and highly experienced faculty we have established an animal phenotyping facility uniquely suited to plan, perform and evaluate coordinated behavioral, metabolic, and functional neuroimaging and electrophysiological assessments in developing and adult rodents. The overall structure of the AP Core, showing its subcomponents and leadership is listed below:

Core Management

Most of the methodologies offered by the AP Core require expensive instrumentation that would be prohibitive for individual investigators to obtain and maintain in their own laboratories and they would require steep learning curves. The AP Core offers training in sophisticated behavioral and physiological research techniques otherwise unavailable to investigators or available only at great time and expense. The Core is designed to maximize the cost effectiveness of all experiments related to animal phenotyping, provide efficient services in behavioral, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging measurements, and has extensive experience in the services provided. Below is a summary of AP Core Services:

Metabolic Phenotyping SubCore Metabolic Phenotyping SubCore EEG SubCore
  • Body Composition-CT/ Metabolomics
  • Ingestive Behavior
  • Locomotor Activity
  • In Vivo Imaging
  • Perfusion Imaging
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging
  • Microscopy Imaging
  • Chemical Shift Imaging
  • Metabolic Imaging
  • Spectroscopy
  • Functional Imaging (BOLD)
  • Neuropsychological EEG
  • Assessment in Mice
  • Intra-cortical & epicranial EEG recordings
  • Assessment of network-level neural activity
  • Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
Animal Behavior SubCore
Cognitive Function Affective/Emotional Behaviors Behavioral Phenotyping
  • Novel Object Recognition
  • Object Placement
  • Visuospatial - Pattern Recognition
  • Social Discrimination
  • Memory
  • Spontaneous Alternation
  • Delayed Alternation
  • Morris Water Maze
  • Sensorimotor Gaiting
  • Roll Arm Maze
  • Conditioned Taste
  • Aversion
  • Conditioned Place Preference
  • Labyrinth Maze
  • Barnes Maze
  • Set Shifting
  • Acoustic Startle
  • Social Interaction/Social Prefs.
  • Social Transm. of Food Prefs.
  • Reprod. & Mating Behavior
  • Open Field (exploratory behavior risk)
  • Marble Burying (neo-phobia, compulsion, anxiety)
  • Elevated Plus Maze (anxiety) Light/Dark Box (anxiety)
  • Acoustic Startle (anxiety & hearing)
  • Porsolt (Forced Swim) Test
  • Anhedonia (depression)
  • Functional Observation Battery
  • Estrous Cycle Staging
  • Behavioral Tracking software
  • Grooming
  • Stereotypies
  • Developmental Milestones
  • Homing Behavior in Pups
  • Behavioral Spectrometer
Tests of Analgesia Sensorimotor Function  
  • Von Frey (sensory, allodynia)
  • Cold Trail Flick
  • Hargreaves (thermal, pain)
  • Open Field (activity, habituation, sensitization.)
  • Rotarod (motor coordination, motor learning)
  • Grip Strength (sensorimotor function, muscle strength)
  • Gait analysis & toe spread (motor coordination)
  • Balance Beam (motor coordination)
  • Visual Placing (acuity)
  • Visual Cliff (acuity & depth perception)
  • Pupil dilation Acoustic Startle & Pre-pulse Inhibition
  • Gait analysis
  • Tape Removal Test - Fine Motor Coordination
  • Parallel Grid Floor Test
  • Negative Geotaxis & righting reflex

AP Core Fee Schedule

Table E4. AP Core Fee Schedule for chargebacks
Type of service IDDRC rate non-IDDRC rate
Exercise session* $30.00/per animal $60.00/per animal
Behavioral testing - unassisted $25.00/hr $33.50/hr
Behavioral testing - training $60.00/hr $80.00/hr
Behavioral testing - assisted $90.00/hr $120.00/hr
MicroCT scan $50.00/per animal $100.00/per animal
Brain cannulation $30.00/per animal $60.00/per animal
Food reward/week $100.00/per animal $200.00/per animal
Body Composition $5.00/per animal $10.00/per animal
Calorimetry $50.00/per animal $100.00/per animal
Calorimetry analysis $15.00/per animal $30.00/per animal
Animal 9.4 Tesla MRI $150.00/hour $225.00/hour
ABR analysis $12.00/per animal $24.00/per animal
* Incl. analysis of wheel running/treadmill;

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