Startling mice

5 03 2014


Mike and I spent the day startling mice. Less surreal than it sounds (no scary masks or popping balloons), this involves putting each mouse in a harness in a soundproof box, then playing it a single loud tone and measuring the force with which it jumps (startle amplitude being a reasonable assay of anxiety). We’re testing the hypothesis that C57 mice in large enriched cages are less anxious, partly for Kathryn‘s study, partly for Carole’s. Fingers crossed.

Insanely hard to photograph under the red(-ish) light — but I couldn’t help trying as they are so great — here a BALBc and DBA from some of Mike’s new mixed strain cages share a spin on their running wheel.