Last Updated on October 12, 2020

Understanding how neural circuits give rise to behavior is one of the most sought after questions in Neuroscience. With O’Hara’s new behavioral testing system, finding an answer just got easier

O’Hara teamed up with researcher Dr. Andrea Benucci at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan to develop a high-throughput and fully automated system, The Self Head-Restraining Platform, to simultaneously assess mouse behavior and neurophysiology.

Mice learn to voluntarily self-restrain their heads for a reward, enabling neural recording simultaneously during behavior.

Training head-restrained mice to perform complex tasks is extremely labor and time-intensive, leaving little time for actual research.

“Previously, training just one mouse took about 15 hours of a researcher’s time. Now, with twelve setups we are down to less than one-and-a-half hours.” – Andrea Benucci.

Using the Self Head-Restraining Platform, mice can engage in operant tasks at-will, without any intervention from the experimenter. The system has already been used to effectively train 100 mice.

In addition to the platform being high-throughput, mice learn to self-stabilize their heads,enabling an easy transition to in vivo examination of neural dynamics during behavior.

“Normally we see a decline in mouse performance or other incompatibilities when moving from highly-trained behaviors to different types of experiments for brain recordings, but that doesn’t happen with our system,” says Benucci.

Learn more about the Self Head-Restraining Platform by visiting