Self Head-Restraining Platform for Mice

Automate the training process, enable mice to learn voluntary head fixation efficiently and accurately.

This innovative system enhances your research by minimizing training time and reducing experimenter bias.

  • Quick Learning: Mice learn voluntary head fixation in just two weeks.
  • Automation: Reduces experimenter bias and labor with an automated process.
  • High Throughput: Train up to four mice daily on a single platform.
Self Head-Restraining System

Automate Behavioral Mice Training for Head-Restrained Tasks

The ability to record neural activity during mouse behavior provides an opportunity to understand brain function at a new level of detail. Head-restrained behavioral assays in mice are perfect for this purpose because they allow real-time monitoring of neural circuits during complex operant behavior. However, traditionally, training mice to feel comfortable under head-restriction procedures has proven to be extremely laborious and time-consuming. Before head-restrained training procedures in mice, experimenters must habituate the mouse to the head-restriction process and can take up to several weeks without this system. Add training time for your head-restrained behavioral assays, and now you are looking at several months to train a single mouse to perform head-restrained operant behavior. Using the Self Head-Restraining Platform, you can cut down training time by 90%.

Mice Learn Voluntary Head-Fixation

How the Self-Head Restraining System Works

The self-head-restraining platform automates the entire mouse head-restriction process through operant training principles. Mice are guided to walk through a narrowing corridor and into a head-latching stage that lowers by gravity. Once latched, mice can receive timed water rewards for the rest of the session. By attaching to the home cage, mice have extended access to the platform to learn voluntary head-restriction under lower stress conditions. This also reduces experimenter time and labor, allowing you to begin head-restrained training procedures much sooner.

Task Forcer with Gonio Unit for Imaging

Main setup

The Self Head-Restraining System attaches to the home cage, creating a low-stress environment and allowing mice to learn on their own time.
After self head-restriction, the latching unit automatically releases the mice after 20 minutes allowing them to return to the home cage.
Head-fixation unit

Head-restriction unit

Weight scale unit for automatic weight measurement and equipped with a wheel and water delivery reward system.
Spout Lever with Adapter (Max stroke: 18.8 mm; Min torque: 2 g)


See the Self Head-Restraining System in action.

Previously training a mouse under head-fixation took me about 15 hours! Now with the platform, we have cut training time down to an hour and a half.
Dr. Andrea Benucci

RIKEN Center for Brain Science


Aoki, R., Tsubota, T., Goya, Y., & Benucci, A. An automated platform for high-throughput mouse behavior and physiology with voluntary head-fixation. (2017). A Nature communications8(1), 1-9.19).


Moving neuroscience into the fast lane

“A new high-throughput system with an industrial approach can standardize experiments to facilitate reproducibility and data sharing.

At the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan, a two-year project from Andrea Benucci’s research group and O’Hara and Co LTD. has culminated in the construction and deployment of a high-throughput system to study mouse behavior and physiology. The system aims to deliver larger, standardized datasets, a reduction in the number of experimental animals, and time-savings through complete automation.”

Read the full post from the Science Daily.

Parts and Accessories


Platform Dimensions: 335 (W) x 210 (D) x 118 (H) mm
Corridor Dimensions: 3o (W) x 30 (H)

Compatible with our Task Studio Software

You want to collect, analyze, and disseminate data—not provide software support! With our proven Task Studio software, simply assemble your trial with flowchart-like simplicity, and configure your triggers and executors with checklist-like ease. And if other researchers want to reproduce your findings, simply direct them to use Task Studio, too. This will save you from the headaches of “free software support” that you’d never intended to offer.

Explore our easy-to-use Task Studio software

Recent Blog Articles