Summary of Core Facilities

Cognitive Function

Object Recognition

Object Placement

Social Discrimination Memory

Spontaneous Alternation

• Morris Water Maze

• Sensorimotor gaiting

• Radial Arm Maze

• Conditioned Taste Aversion

Labyrinth Maze

Affective / Emotional Behaviors

Social Interaction

Social Preference

Transmission of Food Preferences

Reproductive and mating behavior

Open Field

Marble Burying

Elevated Plus Maze

• Light/Dark Box

• Acoustic Startle

Porsolt (Forced Swim) Test

Maternal behavior

Novelty Supression of Feeding



Tests of Analgesia

Von Frey

Cold Tail Flick


Sensorimotor Function

Open Field


Grip Strength

• Gait analysis and toe spread

Balance Beam

• Visual Placing

• Visual Cliff

• Pupil dilation

Tape removal test



Functional Observation Battery

Estrous Cycle Staging

• Behavioral Tracking software

• Conditioned Place Preference

• Grooming

• Stereotypies

Developmental milestones (pups)

Homing (pups)

Play (juvenile)


Balance Beam

| Home | Overview | Contact Us | Calendar | Policies | Summary of Tests | Data Sheets| Protocols | Forms | Links | Downloads |

| Albert Einstein College of Medicine | Neuroscience Dept | Animal Institute | Shared Facilities Home Page || Keys |

The balance beam is a test of motor coordination [1-4]. It is also a useful assay for sedation [5] and joint pathology [6]. Several beams are available. In general the round beams are harder than the square beams and the thinner the beam the harder the test. Choice of difficulty, as always, depends on empirical determination of control behavior for a given species, age, strain, sex etc.

This test can be more sensitive than rotarod for some types of motor coordination deficits [7-9].

1. Goldstein, L.B. and J.N. Davis, Beam-walking in rats: studies towards developing an animal model of functional recovery after brain injury. J Neurosci Methods, 1990. 31(2): p. 101-7.

2. Metz, G.A.S., et al., Efficient testing of motor function in spinal cord injured rats. Brain Research, 2000. 883(2): p. 165.

3. Cummings, B.J., et al., Adaptation of a ladder beam walking task to assess locomotor recovery in mice following spinal cord injury. Behav Brain Res, 2007. 177(2): p. 232-41.

4. Goldstein, L.B., Rapid reliable measurement of lesion parameters for studies of motor recovery after sensorimotor cortex injury in the rat. J Neurosci Methods, 1993. 48(1-2): p. 35-42.

5. Groves, J.O., et al., The role of GABAbeta2 subunit-containing receptors in mediating the anticonvulsant and sedative effects of loreclezole. Eur J Neurosci, 2006. 24(1): p. 167-74.

6. Sakic, B., et al., Joint pathology and behavioral performance in autoimmune MRL-lpr Mice. Physiol Behav, 1996. 60(3): p. 901-5.

7. Stanley, J.L., et al., The mouse beam walking assay offers improved sensitivity over the mouse rotarod in determining motor coordination deficits induced by benzodiazepines. J Psychopharmacol, 2005. 19(3): p. 221-7.

8. Boehm, S.L., 2nd, et al., Sensitivity to ethanol-induced motor incoordination in 5-HT(1B) receptor null mutant mice is task-dependent: implications for behavioral assessment of genetically altered mice. Behav Neurosci, 2000. 114(2): p. 401-9.

9. Piot-Grosjean, O., et al., Assessment of sensorimotor and cognitive deficits induced by a moderate traumatic injury in the right parietal cortex of the rat. Neurobiol Dis, 2001. 8(6): p. 1082-93.