Definition

Maintenance behaviors are a sub-classification of Active Behaviors.

Together with General Activity Behaviors, maintenance behaviors make up a mouse’s major category of active behaviors.

When a mouse exhibits a maintenance behavior, it is essentially taking care of itself. In order to survive and be healthy, it is crucial for a mouse to be able to display maintenance behaviors.

Homeostasis and Maintenance Behaviors

Maintenance behaviors are classified by their ability to sustain the mouse. Together, these behaviors are essential for keeping the mouse clean, providing comfort, and keeping its energy levels high.

The mouse is able to have its physiological homeostatic needs met by feeding itself, drinking adequate amounts of water, building a nest when it’s cold, and cleaning its fur. All of these actions help to keep the mouse’s organ at an optimal level by establishing internal stability and equilibrium.

Maintenance Behaviors in Research

The behavioral categories which comprise maintenance behaviors include:

  • Drinking
  • Feeding
  • Grooming
  • Nesting

Maintenance behaviors are studied using healthy or abnormal mice modeling a disease, in order to determine how these behaviors vary across strains and experimental conditions.

Technically, sleeping is also another maintenance behavior, given its role in maintaining homeostasis, but it is classified as an Inactive Behavior.

A Detailed Classification System of Maintenance Behaviors

The behavioral categories which make up the maintenance behaviors can be outlined in greater detail, as follows:

  • Drinking
  • Feeding
    • Chase
  • Grooming
    • Allogrooming
    • Cephalocaudal Groom
  • Nesting
    • Dig
    • Non-Maternal Nesting

In the MazeEngineers ethogram, each of the maintenance behaviors will be discussed in-depth based on the mouse behaviors which comprise them. A behavior is introduced based on many topics, including its functions, applications, the behavioral tests used to measure it, as well as any relevant pharmaceutical findings affecting it.