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Laboras Specifications

LABORAS is designed for and with the help of laboratory animal technicians and preclinical researchers, which has resulted in a system that is easy to use and matches your research needs.

Below we have summarized the main functions and performance of the Laboras equipment. Laboras is a modular system, so it is possible to configure the system at the initial purchase with specific functions and to upgrade the LABORAS system at a later moment.


Standard Behavior detection functionality

  • Resting (immobility):
    Movements are absent while the animal is in a sitting or lying position.
    Very short movements (e.g. turning over while sleeping ) are not considered as an interruption.
  • Locomotion:
    Activities such as walking, running, jumping.
  • Rearing:
    The animal is standing upright on its hind legs (mostly against a side wall of the cage), including the up and down movement.
  • Eating:
    The animal eats food pellets while standing upright, gripping the bars of the food hopper or the climbing grid in the enriched cages. While the animal is climbing or hanging, the hind legs or tail may touch the floor or side wall of the cage.
  • Drinking:
    The animal stands upright gripping the drinking  bottle and licking and swallowing the water or fluid from the bottle.
  • Grooming:
    The animal is wiping or licking its body fur, head, including paws, snout, ears, tail or genitals. 
  • Climbing (mouse only):
    Climbing and hanging on the bars of the wire cage lid or food hopper or on the climbing grid in the enriched cages. While the animal is climbing or hanging, the hind legs or tail may touch the floor or side wall of the cage.
  • Undefined:
    All behaviours not classified in one of the previous categories.


Tracking functionality

  • Position (XY):
    The position of the animal relative to the center of the cage. (resolution = 1 mm; accuracy better than 5 mm).
  • Distance traveled:
    The total distance traveled by the animal during the test. (resolution = 1 cm; accuracy better than 10 cm/hr).
  • Maximum speed:
    The highest velocity of the animal during the test. (resolution = 0.1 cm/s; accuracy better than 0.5 cm/s)
  • Average speed:
    The average speed of the animal during locomotion periods over the test. (resolution = 0.1 cm/s; accuracy better than 0.5 cm/s).
  • Position distribution:
    Graphical presentation showing which places in the cage are prefered by the animal and which places are avoided by the animal.
  • Circling:
    Number of circles (clockwise and counter clockwise) that the animal makes during test. Two types of circling are scored "wide circling" and "turning around the axis". In addition average perimeter of the circles, average time in the circles and average speed in the circles are calculated.

Special Behavior detection functionality

  • Scratching (in mice and rats): 
    Repetitive fast movement of the hindlimb, rubbing the side of the body, neck and face.
    Spontaneous scratching epsisodes are generally shorter than a second. Drug induced scratching or scratching because of skin diseases can last for seconds or even minutes.
  • Purposeless Chewing (in rats)
    Chewing movements in the absence of food. Generally consisting of large chewing movements (head moving) and small chewing movements (lip movement only).
  • Hindlimb licking (in rats) - Formalin Test
    The animal licks the hindlimb as a pain response to a formalin injection in the hindlimb. The three phase response consisting of Phase-I, Q(uiet)-phase and Phase-II are accurately determined by LABORAS.
  • Wet Dog Shakes (in rats)
    A paroxysmic or quivering shudder of the trunk (body) up to the shoulders of the rat, consisting of a series of radial movements of the body, during which the trunk rotates along the center axis of the body. The quivering shudder seems to roll over the body of the animal from the shoulder to the tail.
    Depending of the intensity and type of WDS the quivering shudder sometimes extends beyond the shoulder of the animal, including the neck and sometimes the head.
  • Seizures (in mice)
    Several types of strong seizures can be detected. Amongst others: Barrel roll seizures, tonic clonic seizures and seizures P4 and P5 (scored on the Racine scale).
  • Freezing (in mice) - Fear conditioning Test:
    The animal exhibits complete motionless behavior (only autonomous processes such as breathing and heartbeat are present). Freezing is often related to fear and anxiety and such is often use for fear conditioning tests.
  • Startle response (in mice) - Fear conditioning test: 
    An involuntary reaction to a sudden unexpected stimulus (especially a loud sound); involves flexion of most skeletal muscles and a variety of visceral reactions. Startle is often related to fear and anxiety and such is often use for fear conditioning tests.

Energy Measurement functionality

  • Energy Spenditure (in mice and rats):  
    Based on the energy picked up by the LABORAS force transducers, the kinetic energy spenditure of the animal is calculated using the forces of all movements of the animal, including fine movements of any body part of the animal.

Special Cages and Models

  • Light Dark Cage (for mice and rats): 
    Measures the number of entrances and durations in light and dark part of the cage.
  • Sociability Cage (for mice): 
    Special cage with 3 chambers and 2 cylinders to introduce two other mice. It measures the number of entries and duration of the mouse in one of three chambers of the cage and the number of times and duration that the mouse is in one of the 2 social zones (area around the 2 cylinders with the other mice)

User Interface

  • GLP compatible user interface and data management:
    The software complies to the GLP requirements for software used in laboratory instruments.
  • Easy to use interface:
    Straight forward user interface with pull-down menus and experiment navigation tree.
  • extensive and complete experiment data administration
    All experiment data can be entered in the administration software module of LABORAS. The experiment data is added to the test results. Test sessions and related data being part of one experiment can be kept together in one experimental design.

Output definitions

  • time tagged behaviour files
    Indicates each behavioral change with a time resolution of 0.01 second.
  • time tagged position files
    Indicates X and Y position relative to the center of cage per 0,1 second.
  • test result summaries over user definable windows:
    Including Behavior Durations and Behavior Frequencies and position tracking information.
  • export of test results in several commonly used formats:
    MS-Excel, SPSS, SAS/JMP, etc.


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