Scientific investigations, in general, and research in neuroscience, in particular, are becoming ever more complex and require the integration of different techniques. Behavioral assays, which are among the most frequently used methodologies in neuroscience, nowadays rely on advanced, sophisticated technologies that require proficient application. Therefore, behavioral core facilities are becoming essential support units, as they provide the specialized expert research services needed to conduct advanced neuroscience. We here review the lessons learned and insights gathered from managing behavioral core facilities in different academic research institutes. This review addresses several issues, including: the advantages of behavioral core facilities, considerations for establishing a behavioral core facility, and the methodological advances made through calibration and standardization of assay protocols and the development of new assays. Collectively, the review highlights the benefits of both working within and collaborating with behavioral core facility units and emphasizes the potential progress in neuro-phenotyping that such facilities provide.
The Uppsala University Behavioral Facility (UUBF) was established in 2011 and has since then received strategic funding from the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Uppsala University, Sweden, that covers the operation of the infrastructure, infrastructure coordinator, subsidization of laboratory rent, behavioral tests and tracking software and equipment purchasing.
Dr. Michael Tsoory is the incumbent of the Carolito Stiftung Research Fellow Chair in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.
The Tel-Aviv University Myers Neuro-Behavioral Core Facility was established with a generous grant from the Myers Foundation, Cleveland, OH.
The Behavioural Neuroscience Core Facility within the University of Dundee was established through funding from the University of Dundee.
- Behavioral core facilities
- New assays development
- Zebra fish