HABITEST by Coulbourn Instruments is a modular system designed to test a wide range of behavioral protocols in lab animals. Such protocols can include operant conditioning, passive avoidance, and fear conditioning. All components of the system can be modified with a variety of arenas, modules, response sensors, and other accessories. Thus, one can put together any collection of mazes and runways feeders, drinking mechanisms, or visual, auditory, and other stimuli for experimental purposes. This range of possibilities makes the testing and analysis of any combination of behavioral conditions possible. For this particular system, a collection of isolation cubicles, test cages, and precision animal shockers give their own set of testing parameters. In particular, this allows for the testing and monitoring of spatial activity, ergometry, active and passive avoidance, lick suppression, and many other standard experimental conditions.
Isolation cubicles are large enough to contain test cages as well as other equipment for the monitoring of lab animals. This includes space for stimulus-response modules, feeders, and environmental connection boards (ECBs). With walls made of rigid high-density foam, isolation of each animal from the outside environment is assured, negating any noise in behavioral data caused by outside interference. The test cages included provide the framework through which to carry out such behavioral experimentation. When integrated with one of the manual, precision animal shockers, metal floor bars deliver shocks to the animal based on manual input from the operator. This manual shocker stands isolated from other shocking sources, ensuring feedback precision. Animal behavior is viewable and recorded via cameras attached to the top of each testing cage. This ceiling space on each cage can be modified with a range of stimulation, recording, and infusion devices, among others.