Rodent InCage Training System (R-ICTS)

The ultimate in cage training system for rodents

To optimize the training of awake rodents on cognitive tasks Thomas RECORDING has developed a new and commercially available Rodent-InCage Training System (ICTS). The R-ICTS is a flexible, light-weight, fully-automatic device for the training of behavioral and cognitive paradigms and enrichment of rodents in their cages. The new training system provides a comfortable training environment that reduces stress, improves the animal´s well-being, increases the speed of training and the animal´s performance.

Key Features:

  • Cage mountable (system can be customized to any rodent cage system)
  • Fully integrated portable system
  • Customizable stimuli
  • Small and lightweight system
  • Easy access for rodents with special designed screen damage protection
  • No human interference necessary during training sessions
  • Electronic and internal system parts are water and dirt protected
  • Improvement of rodent´s life quality by training the animal in its cage
  • IP68 certified rugged tablet computer
  • 8“ Display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Octa-Core CPU with 1.6 GHz and 3GB RAM for multitasking and lag-free stimulus presentation
  • Cage-viewing camera with 5 MP and Full-HD resolution for animal surveillance
  • Exchangeable 4.450mAh battery for measuring 24/7
  • WiFi for remote access from any computer (additional software required)
  • Bluetooth 4.2 for communication and synchronization with other devices
  • NFC reader
  • Fully integrated liquid reward unit in an IP65 certified housing
  • 500ml liquid reward reservoir
  • Freely adjustable reward amount for each trial
  • Fully customizable stimuli

The Rodent InCage Training System (R-ICTS) is a new light-weight, flexible and fully integrated cage mountable system for the training of behavioral and cognitive tasks, enrichment or surveillance directly on the rodents’ home cage. It can be mounted on every Eurostandard IV cage (other cage sizes on request) with low effort and can be operated for more than 24 hours non-stop.

Figure 1: Rodent InCage Training System (R-ICTS)

A set of predefined cognitive standard paradigms and the ability to fully customize own stimuli and parameters recorded meets the requirements of all scientists and their individual research questions. After setup the system works independently and without any human supervision until a defined endpoint is reached. During that, the current training status can be viewed via the optional remote access from any permitted computer. This system highly increases the speed of training and the animal’s performance by being available 24/7 and reducing stress.

The R-ICTS is a networkable system. Figure 2 shows a block diagram with several ICTS basic units operated in a wireless local area network (WLAN) together with a remote-control computer. The remote control of the R-ICTS devices is established via a TeamViewer Software running on the remote-control computer.

Figure 2: Networkable R-ICTS

The remote-control computer graphical user interface of the software is shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Remote-control computer graphical user interface

This graphical user interface, installed on the host computer, provides a mirrored screen view of each device to examine the animal’s current stimulus activity and allows full controllability of the R-ICTS basic unit tablet computer (e.g. to change stimulus parameters, or start a new stimulus) from a distance. Furthermore, it allows direct access to all data stored on the device, especially the task related data files provided by each paradigm, to analyze task performance online.

Finally, the architecture of the reward control unit allows for a synchronization with other devices like telemetric recording/stimulation systems to have a fully operational environment for physiological experiments in combination with cognitive tasks.


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