The platform to study rodent behavior (PEC) is a strategic action undertaken by the IN to respond to one of the biggest current challenges in neuroscience: understanding how normal animal behaviors or those that occur in pathological conditions emerge from interconnected neural circuits.
Inside the PEC, the animals are housed in ventilated racks to minimize noise and environmental stress, increasing their well-being and the efficiency and reproducibility of the experiments. In addition, housing in enrichment cages is also available.
The PEC has seven equipped rooms inside the animal facility (RMG), allowing users to explore from the typical behavior of mutant lines and wild types to specific aspects of social behavior, anxiety, depression, sleep, learning, memory, or motor skills. Current equipment includes, among others, Smart V3 video tracking, Erasmusladder, Morris water maze, Phenotyper, touch screen, hot/cold plate, treadmills, and operant boxes for fear conditioning. In addition, four rooms are available outside the RMG, one in the basement and three on the second floor, where users can use their equipment to perform the required animal behavior studies.
- Technical assistance to use the equipment and software available in the service.
- Assistance in the analysis and processing of the data acquired.
- Advice on choosing and/or designing the appropriate behavioral test for the user research and aim.
- Equipment maintenance.
- User guides preparation and assistance in writing materials and methods for publications.
- Organization of specialization courses and workshops.
- Assess and guide in the acquisition of new equipment.
- Participation in outreach activities.
PEC communications will be made through the distribution list: email@example.com
Please make your inquiry preferably by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
1.- To access the animal facility, you must receive specific biosafety training. The RMG animal facility staff will teach this training upon request to: email@example.com.
2.- It is essential to have the function C accreditation (ECC/566/2015) to carry out experiments in the PEC facilities.
3.- The user must be registered at: firstname.lastname@example.org, through the website https://listas.umh.es/sympa/info/in.pec because the communications regarding the PEC will be made to this list.
4.- The working hours at the PEC facilities are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Prior notification by email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org is required to access outside this time or on weekends, as well as register at the concierge desk.
5.- To access and work in the experimental zone, inside the RMG animal facility, it is mandatory to undress and to wear the specific work cloth available at the animal facility changing rooms, as well as a mask, hat, and gloves.
6.- Wear gloves, disposable overshoes and cap, and the lab coat is mandatory to work in room 8 and the second-floor facilities.
7.- It is forbidden to introduce foreign elements into the experimental zone (rooms 1 to 7), including papers/notebooks, pens, mobile phones, headphones, animals, etc.
8.- The platform to study rodent behavior (PEC) has three working areas with different biological safety degrees. Therefore, the workflow must comply with the following restrictions:
9.- It is not allowed to work simultaneously in the PEC and another animal facility (Alberto Sols building) or animal housing room (2nd floor IN). If you have any questions or specific needs concerning this requirement, contact email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
10.- Hide information from staff may result in restricted access to the PEC facilities, so if you have specific needs, first contact email@example.com.
To work at PEC facilities, you must fill out the booking form and make the room booking through the IN website. Only the procedures authorized by the proper authority can be carried out.
The booking holder is responsible for the room and must ensure that everything is tidy and clean after use. Furthermore, in the second-floor rooms, it is not allowed to leave personal equipment or tools without prior authorization from the technical staff firstname.lastname@example.org).
Noise can affect the results of behavioral tests; therefore, users should carry out the procedures with the doors closed and avoid talking in the corridors.
During your working hours in the PEC room, you have to turn the sign available on the door that indicates “experiment in progress” and turn it again once you leave the room.
It is not allowed to house animals in the workrooms without prior authorization from the technical staff. To request this authorization, you must fill out the available form: temporary housing.
The habituation of the animals to the handling and the room must be done during the booked time and in the same room where the test will be done.
Specific rules for rooms located within the RMG:
- The equipment in rooms 1, 4, 5, and 6 is non-transferable and non-movable. Additional equipment and tools are available in the storeroom and room 2 for use in rooms 2, 3, and 7.
- Equipment cannot be removed or brought into PEC facilities without prior authorization (request to email@example.com).
- The configuration of the electrical connections in each room is fixed and cannot be modified. If the user needs to connect any other equipment, each room has at least one free plug and power strip. If you need to change the established configuration, please request prior authorization to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Each room has non-transferable common-use stuff (paper, ETOH 70%, light, pens, etc.). If any of these components are close to running out or have disappeared, please inform email@example.com.
- If the behavior test does not allow cages and littermates to be kept in the room (excess noise or odor, etc.), adjoining rooms cannot be booked for animal handling and habituation. In these cases, animals will be transferred directly from the stabling room to the work room using the hood to house each animal individually.
- Files produced during the experiments must be transferred electronically to external computers (by email, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.). After verifying the reception of the files on the external computer, users must delete the files from the PEC computers.
- Remote connections to PEC computers are permitted unless the room is currently booked.
PEC users are responsible for checking the correct labeling of the animal cages housed in the experimental zone or resonance, updating the procedural code written on the card if necessary, or adding it if it is unwritten.
Any incident must be notified by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only users registered on the PEC distribution list (email@example.com) will be able to book. Each booking belongs to a single owner and is non-transferable.
PEC rooms can be booked for 2, 3, or 6 hours for up to 4 consecutive weeks through the INTRANET. However, please note that the maximum duration for bookings that block the entire working hours of the rooms inside RMG is two successive weeks, while it is three consecutive days for the rest of the rooms. Contact the technical staff to make bookings that do not fulfill the indicated duration/requirements at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is mandatory to fill out the form available on this website after booking the room on the IN website. Multiple time slots for the same room can be grouped in a single form as long as the same procedure code and cohort are going to be used. Failure to complete this form will render the booking ineffective, and the user will not be able to use the facilities and equipment of the PEC.
The PEC facilities can be accessed Monday to Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. However, if you need to use the facilities during the weekend or after 8:00 p.m., you will need to provide prior notification to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, and register with the concierge.
For any change or booking cancellation, you must write to email@example.com.
The platform to study rodent behavior (PEC) is located at the Instituto de Neurociencias (Santiago Ramón y Cajal building) and has a spacious work area inside the RMG animal facility with the following equipment:
- Room 1. Erasmus Ladder + qOMR
- Room 2. Videotracking
- Room 3. Videotracking
- Room 4. Morris water maze
- Room 5. Fear conditioning and startle reflex boxes
- Room 6. Phenotype
- Room 7. Video tracking
On the second floor, three other rooms are available for booking, and where it is also possible to work under dim red light. In this area, rooms 1 and 2 can be interconnected to provide more workspace to the users.
Finally, a spacious room is also available in the basement next to the molecular imaging facility (room 8).
STAFF / CONTACT
For specific inquiries, doubts about bookings or incidents, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PEC announcements will be made through the UMH distribution list: email@example.com.
Plataforma para el estudio de la conducta
Instituto de Neurociencias
Universidad Miguel Hernández – CSIC
Av. Santiago Ramón y Cajal s/n
03550 Sant Joan d’Alacant (Spain)