Mouse behavior is exquisitely sensitive to multiple influences such as the order in which tests are administered and the person doing the testing. Furthermore, a behavioral domain such as motor coordination is complex. A domain can neither be represented well by just one or two tests nor be adequately encapsulated in one general factor. This chapter discusses choices that need to be made in conducting any kind of behavioral experiment, involving things such as the age and sex of the mice, whether to test in the light or dark phase, use of home cage enrichment, and commercial versus custom built apparatus. The chapter also outlines the various steps, which need to be considered in doing any test, from the time when the animal is removed from its home cage to the methods for cleaning the apparatus at the end of a test. Recipes for conducting specific kinds of tests are not included in the chapter. Instead, published sources of detailed information are provided about many tests. For an investigator who is new to the testing of mouse behavior, several recommendations about how to achieve high-quality data are also offered in the chapter.
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