The balance beam is a narrow ‘walking bridge’ for mice / rats to walk across to test sensorineural balance and coordination. The beam generally sits between two elevated platforms with platforms to hold either mice or rats. Interchangeable beams can be used in thinner and thinner intervals.
The essential components include

  • End platform
  • Beams
  • (Optional) Start Platform
  • (Optional) Encatchment: A soft encatchment to prevent harm on the fall
  1. Holes (~3mm diameter) along beam center to allow insertion of Protruding pegs
  2. Tapered Shape
  3. Second lower flat beam below main beam may be added to assist compromised animals. Detachable. Please inquire if needed.
  4. Convenient hinges along beam to allow flexible transport.

Modifications

Beam Variants

Many possibilities

Sweiss Et Al. 2016

Balance Beam

Ledge Tapered Beam

$300

In this test, rats or mice are trained to traverse an elevated beam that is tapered along the extent with an underhanging ledge (2cm wide, dropped 2cm below the upper beam surface) that the rodent can use as a crutch if it slips. Foot faults (slips) made with the hindlimbs can be measured as an index of hindlimb function. A footfault can be rated as a half fault if the paw slips under the upper surface.

Clear Acrylic Beam

$300

Spiked Beam

$300

Spiked beams give an obstacle in the beam. Please specify number of spikes requested

Prices and Sizes

Mouse

$ 1490

Beam + Stand
  • Length: 125cm to 1m available.
  • Height: 50cm.
  • End box: 20×20 x 20cmcm.
  • Width Beam: 6,12, 24, 48mm available.
  • (Optional) Start Platform ($300)
  • (Optional) Encatchment: ($300)
  • (Optional): Adjustable height, Angle (+$150)

Rat

$ 1790

Beam + Stand
  • Length: 125cm to 1m available.
  • Height: 60cm
  • End box: 25x25x25cm.
  • Width of 6,12, 24, 48mm available.
  • (Optional) Start Platform + $350 (25cm x 25cm)
  • (Optional)Encatchment +$350
  • (Optional): Adjustable height, Angle (+$150)

Request a Balance Beam

Request a Balance Beam

Documentation

Introduction

The balance beam is a test of motor coordination and balance in rodents. The test assesses sensorimotor function following motor cortex injury, traumatic brain injury, gamma-aminobutyric acid infusion into the frontal cortex and in rodent models of stroke (reviewed by; Carter et al., 2001). In addition, this test can be used to evaluate the effects of aging and to characterize transgenic animals.

Rodent performance on the beam may improve with time after injury, with the use of drugs and with motor experience (Gentile et al., 1978, Feeney et al., 1982, Brailowsky et al., 1986). Amelioration of motor coordination after injury may be the result of a transient neural loss-of-function in areas remote from but connected to the area of injury.

The balance beam test requires the use of one or more narrow beams with varying dimensions and elevated from the ground. Avoidance stimuli should be used at the start end of the beam. A goal box that serves as escape from the stimuli should be placed at the opposite end. The trials should be video recorded.

Results can be presented as latency to traverse the beam, number of foot slips and mean score if using a grading system (Feeney et al., 1982, Metz et al., 2000).

This test is widely used to assess fine motor deficits. It enables both short and long studies with multiple timepoints. Furthermore, it is inexpensive, methodologically unsophisticated and allows for substantial modifications of equipment and experimental protocol to fit diverse study designs.

Balance Beam task is primarily used in the assessment of sensorimotor functions of rodents. The apparatus has seen popularity due to its inexpensive nature and ease of construction. The Balance Beam allows researchers to evaluate the motor functions by observing the ambulatory performances of the subjects on a narrow beam. Usually, an aversive stimulus such as bright lights and loud noise are used to motivate the subject to cross the beam to reach the safe space at the end. However, positive reinforcements can be just as effective in motivating the subjects. The difficulty of the Balance Beam task can also be easily manipulated by simply changing the width or shape of the beam. Rounded beams tend to be more challenging than square beams.

Subjects with abnormalities in motor functions tend to show poor performance on the Balance Beam task. Subjects with impairments are most likely to fall off the beam as they traverse it. Subjects may also show other behaviors such as hesitation to cross the beam, slower speeds or misplaced steps. These observations can be translated into different measures to obtain an assessment of the subjects’ balance and motor capabilities. In comparison to other tests of balance and motor functions, such as the Rotarod, the Balance Beam task can provide a more sensitive measure of certain subtle motor capabilities of the subjects (Stanley et al. 2005).

The Balance Beam apparatus is made of two support columns and a narrow beam. The support columns allow adjustment of the height of the beam. The beams of the apparatus are available in a range on lengths, widths, and sizes to accommodate the different needs of the experiment and levels of task difficulty. In addition to the basic setup, the Balance Beam apparatus can also include enclosed spaces to be placed at the ends of the beam, start or end platforms, an additional flat beam to act as support for compromised animals and a catchment to protect animals from falls.

Other similar apparatuses include the Triple Horizontal Bars, the Static Rod Test, and the Parallel Bars. Apart from these test other apparatuses used in the assessment of motor capabilities include the Tilt Ladder, the Horizontal Ladder, and the Stairway test.

History

Origin

The Balance Beam task assess the fine motor coordination and balance in rodents. The subject is expected to traverse the narrow, elevated beam while staying upright, without falling. Potvin et al. used the Balance Beam task to evaluate the effect of (-) Δ1 -trans-tetrahydrocannabinol on motor skills of male Wistar rats in their 1972 paper. Subjects were divided into groups based on the doses of Δ1-THC. The results showed that at a lower dose, acute THC conditions did not impair Balance Beam performance. However, at high dose, acute THC condition led to impairment in performances of the rats. Further, acute high dose THC group spent significantly less time on the beam in comparison to other groups.

In their 1975 paper, Hicks and D’Amato, investigated the growth and organization of the motor-sensory cortex-corticospinal tract system (MSC-CST) to analyze the normal and abnormal development of movement in rats at different ages. Using three types of beams; two circular beams of different sizes and a narrow strip beam, motor function and balance of black Irish rats was evaluated. Their study was able to observe that presence of MSC-CST accelerated normal development of general locomotion and was critical for locomotion on difficult terrain. Another study conducted by Gentile et al. evaluated the cortical lesions induced disruption of motor behavior using the Balance Beam task. Their study used water as a positive reinforcement for the rats with surgery-induced lesions in the cortex. No effect of frontal or lateral parietal lesions could be observed in the performances of the rats. However, the differential effects of medial and lateral parietal lesions on Balance Beam task were in agreement with the observations of Hicks and D’Amato. Further, it was observed that selective impairment in locomotion could be observed in rats after lesions of posteromedial but not posterolateral quadrants.

Development

Wallace et al. in their 1980 paper compared age-related changes in a variety of tasks including locomotor tasks. The investigators used Fischer 344 rats of ages 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-months to evaluate the effect of age on reflexive, postural and locomotor capabilities. Four tasks, including Beam Walking, was used to evaluate the locomotor skills of the rats in different age groups. Results of the locomotor tasks revealed that aged animals’ (mean age of 26.5 months) hindlimb slip almost always resulted in falls while younger groups performed significantly better. Another study by Brailowsky et al. published in 1986 also utilized young and aged rats in their research of hemiplegia. The hemiplegia model was achieved by chronic infusion of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA to the motor cortex of the rats. The rats were tasked with reaching their home cage by traversing an elevated narrow beam with a gradual increase in the distance to be traversed.

The Balance Beam task was also utilized in evaluating the effects of drugs on motor capabilities and balance. Certain drugs used prenatally tend to affect the offspring. Prenatal phenytoin treatment resulted in the Wistar rat pups consistently performing poorly on the Balance Beam task while the control group improved with succeeding trials (Elmazar and Sullivan, 1981). Another area of interest has been the effects of drugs on recovery after ablation of the motor cortex. In a study, a single d-amphetamine dose resulted in the accelerated recovery of rats subjected to unilateral ablation of motor cortex while a single dose of haloperidol significantly slowed recovery (Feeney et al., 1982). Another study by Sutton and Feeney evaluated the effects of α-Noradrenergic agonists and antagonists on Balance Beam performances.

Recent Development

The application of the Balance Beam since its initial use in analyzing effects of brain injury and pharmacological treatments has been expanded to research related to genetic manipulations as well. Dluzen et al. utilized the Balance Beam task to evaluate the function of nigrostriatal dopaminergic in adult +/+ and +/- BDNF mutant mice. The +/- mice showed a significant decrease in sensorimotor performance on the narrow beam task.

The Balance Beam task also assists in the evaluation of diminished motor functions associated with neurodegenerative disorders and in improving associated treatments. The potential therapeutic effect of intraventricular infusion of ganglioside GM1 in the treatment of Huntington disease was investigated by Di Pardo et al. The treatment showed great potential as evident from the improved performance on the beam walking test. The task has also been used in studies of Parkinson diseases investigating pharmacological treatments (Yadav et al., 2013, Prakash et al., 2013)

Zhang et al. utilized the Balance Beam task to evaluate the motor capabilities of rats with focal cerebral ischemia that received enriched environment treatment. Though no significant difference in performance could be observed on the beam walking task between ischemia + enriched environment (IEE) and ischemic + standard conditioning (ISC) group on days 3 and 7, on day 14 the IEE group performed significantly better than the ISC group.

A stress-sensitive version of the Balance Beam task is also helpful in the assessment of stress and anxiety related neuropsychiatric disorders and in development of appropriate treatments and therapies. Prévôt et al. investigated the anxiolytic and antidepressant effects of somatostatin agonists on stress-induced hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) activity of C57BL/6, wild-type, and sst2 or sst4 knockout mice. The results obtained from the stress Balance Beam task showed that somatostatin analog L-803,087 improved performances as evident from the decreased time to cross the beam and decrease in stress-induced hesitation. Another paper published by Stamenkovic et al. utilized the Balance Beam task to establish a link between environment enrichment and their functional consequences on the behavioral phenotype of tenascin-C deficient mice.

Apparatus and Equipment

The Balance Beam apparatus has a simple construct of a narrow beam suspended above the ground using support columns. The beam has a tapered design and is available in lengths of 125 cm to 1 m. A lower, flat beam can be added along with the narrow beam to assist compromised animals.   Additionally, provision for a detachable catchment under the narrow balance beam is also available to prevent injury to animals that fall off the beam. The side posts that suspend the beam can be used to adjust the elevation of the beam. In general heights of 50 to 60 cm above the ground are used for the task. Additions such as a 25 x 25 cm start platform and an end box (25 x 25 x 25 cm) can also be added to the start and end points to motivate the animals.

Literature Review: Disease Model

TitleAuthors, Year published, JournalSubjectDisease ModelComments / Outcome
Use of the narrow beam test in the rat, 6-hydroxydopamine model of Parkinson’s disease.Allbutt HN, Henderson JM

2007

Journal of neuroscience methods

Female Sprague-DawleyParkinson’s diseaseSubjects with Parkinson’s disease displayed a four-fold increase in latency to initiate and total time to cross the beam.
Chronic exposure to low-frequency noise at moderate levels causes impaired balance in mice.Tamura H, Ohgami N, Yajima I, Iida M, Ohgami K, Fujii N, Itabe H, Kusudo T, Yamashita H, Kato M

2012

PLoS One

Wild-type female ICR miceBalanceMice exposed to low-frequency noise showed imbalance behaviors on the beam-crossing test in comparison to non-exposed mice and mice exposed to high-frequency noise.
Differential effects of delayed aging on phenotype and striatal pathology in a murine model of Huntington disease. Tallaksen-Greene SJ, Sadagurski M, Zeng L, Mauch R, Perkins M, Banduseela VC, Lieberman AP, Miller RA, Paulson HL, Albin RL.

2014

Journal of neuroscience

Adult HD knock-in allele miceHuntington diseaseIn bigenic HD knock-in/Snell dwarf mice, beam performance impaired significantly slowly.
Neuroprotective effects of collagen matrix in rats after traumatic brain injury.Shin SS, Grandhi R, Henchir J, Yan HQ, Badylak SF, Dixon CE

2015

Restorative neurology and neuroscience

Male Sprague-Dawley ratsTraumatic brain injuryNo significant difference was observed in the performances between TBI rats with collagen matrix graft and rats with no graft in the beam balance task.

Pharmacological Studies

Drug / ToxinTitleAuthors, Year published, JournalSubjectComments / Outcome
HistamineHistamine improves rat rota-rod and balance beam performances through H(2) receptors in the cerebellar interpositus nucleus.Song YN, Li HZ, Zhu JN, Guo CL, Wang JJ

2006

Neuroscience.

Male Sprague–Dawley ratsSubjects were divided into 5 groups: microinjected with normal saline, microinjected with GABA, microinjected with histamine, microinjected with histamine H2 receptor antagonist ranitidine and microinjected with histamine H1 receptor antagonist triprolidine.

Transient effect on motor performance was observed in the group administered with GABA. Subjects spent longer times traversing the beam and even fell off the beam.

Histamine treated subjects spent significantly shorter time on the beam in comparison to normal saline-treated rats. Though the effect was not seen in the preceding stages.

SimvastatinSimvastatin administration ameliorates neurobehavioral consequences of subarachnoid hemorrhage in the rat.Merlo L, Cimino F, Scibilia A, Ricciardi E, Chirafisi J, Speciale A, Angileri FF, Raffa G, Priola S, Saija A, Germanò A

2011

Journal of neurosciences

Sprague-Dawley ratsSubjects were divided into 4 groups: sham-injured + vehicle, subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) + vehicle, sham-injured + simvastatin (40 mg/kg and SAH + simvastatin (40 mg/kg).

SAH vehicle-treated rats displayed significant deficits in beam balance scores and time compared to that of sham-injured vehicle-treated animals. However, a significant improvement was observed in beam balance performance was observed in SAH simvastatin-treated animals in comparison to SAH vehicle-treated animals.

GeldanamycinGeldanamycin reduced brain injury in a mouse model of intracerebral hemorrhage.Manaenko A, Fathali N, Williams S, Lekic T, Zhang JH, Tang J

2011

Male CD-1 miceSubjects were divided into four groups: sham, Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) treated with vehicle, ICH treated with low-dose geldanamycin (1 mg/kg), and ICH treated with high-dose geldanamycin (10 mg/kg).

No statistically significant change was observed in the beam balance performance subjects treated with high-dose geldanamycin treatment despite improvement.

DonepezilDonepezil is ineffective in promoting motor and cognitive benefits after controlled cortical impact injury in male rats.Shaw KE, Bondi CO, Light SH, Massimino LA, McAloon RL, Monaco CM, Kline AE

2013

Journal of Neurotrauma

Male Sprague–Dawley ratsTBI and sham-injured rats were randomly distributed among groups that received varying doses of donepezil hydrochloride (0.25 mg/kg, 0.5 mg/kg, 1.0 mg/kg, 2.0 mg/kg, or 3.0 mg/kg) or a comparable volume of vehicle (1.0 mL/kg) via intraperitoneal injection beginning 24 h after cortical impact or sham injury.

Beam balance ability improved gradually in the TBI groups except for the group administered the highest dose of donepezil.

AgaricusbisporusDaily supplementation with mushroom (Agaricusbisporus) improves balance and working memory in aged rats. Nutr ResThangthaeng N, Miller MG, Gomes SM, Shukitt-Hale B

2015

Nutritional research

Aged Fischer 344 ratsSubjects were maintained on either of the 5 diets that consisted of either 0% (control), 0.5%, 1.0 %, 2.0%, or 5% mushroom.

Mushroom supplementation did not affect limb strength, fine motor coordination or stamina.

Training Protocol

Balance Beam task provides a simple assessment of motor coordination and motor capabilities. The test is useful in comparing the effects of drugs on motor functions of animals and in the development of appropriate treatment. Further, the task also allows evaluation of age-related decline in motor functions and effects of negative stimuli such as bright lights on motor capabilities. In comparison to the Rotarod test, the Balance Beam walking test tends to be more sensitive in evaluating certain types of motor coordination deficits.

Prior to beginning the experiment, the apparatus should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the influence of any lingering stimuli. Overhead lighting set-up is recommended to prevent shadows. The arena should be sufficiently lit. Observation of the Balance Beam task can be done using tracking software and video camera, such as Noldus Ethovision XT, mounted above the apparatus. Live scoring is also possible. It is recommended that at least two investigators perform the test.

Pre-training

Allow the subject at least 60 minutes to acclimate to the testing area. Use a beam wider than the narrow testing beam to train the subjects. Place the subject at the start and allow it to traverse the beam to reach the end-point. Repeat the task for 4 consecutive trials for every subject. Return the animal to its home cage.

Evaluation of motor functions using the Balance Beam task

Allow the subject at least 60 minutes to acclimate to the test area. Begin testing with the widest beam. Place the subject at the start point and allow it to traverse it to the end-point within the allocated time (can range from 1 to 5 minutes). Repeat the task with different widths and shape of beams. For each beam perform at least 2 consecutive trials. In case the subject falls off the beam, record it as a fail and allocate it a maximum latency time.

Modifications

Balance Beam task provides a simple assessment of motor coordination and motor capabilities. The test is useful in comparing the effects of drugs on motor functions of animals and in the development of appropriate treatment. Further, the task also allows evaluation of age-related decline in motor functions and effects of negative stimuli such as bright lights on motor capabilities. In comparison to the Rotarod test, the Balance Beam walking test tends to be more sensitive in evaluating certain types of motor coordination deficits.

Prior to beginning the experiment, the apparatus should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the influence of any lingering stimuli. Overhead lighting set-up is recommended to prevent shadows. The arena should be sufficiently lit. Observation of the Balance Beam task can be done using tracking software and video camera, such as Noldus Ethovision XT, mounted above the apparatus. Live scoring is also possible. It is recommended that at least two investigators perform the test.

Pre-training

Allow the subject at least 60 minutes to acclimate to the testing area. Use a beam wider than the narrow testing beam to train the subjects. Place the subject at the start and allow it to traverse the beam to reach the end-point. Repeat the task for 4 consecutive trials for every subject. Return the animal to its home cage.

Evaluation of motor functions using the Balance Beam task

Allow the subject at least 60 minutes to acclimate to the test area. Begin testing with the widest beam. Place the subject at the start point and allow it to traverse it to the end-point within the allocated time (can range from 1 to 5 minutes). Repeat the task with different widths and shape of beams. For each beam perform at least 2 consecutive trials. In case the subject falls off the beam, record it as a fail and allocate it a maximum latency time.

The Balance Beam is a simple apparatus that is easy to modify and adapt to the different needs of an investigation. Simple modifications include the addition of end boxes that provide a safe space for the animal (Sweis et al., 2016) and changing the width and shape of the beams used. Further, different styles of beams such as spiked beams, clear acrylic beams, tapered edge beams, can also be used to test different parameters.

Another simple variation to the Balance Beam test is placing the beam at an inclination. Since some rodents tend to climb up an inclination when threatened. The inclined beam modification is inclusive of this tendency of rodents while testing balance and motor capabilities (Brooks and Dunnett, 2009). This modification was successfully used by Tung et al. in their behavioral assessment of the aging mouse vestibular system. Changing the elevation of the beam is also another simple modification that can be made to achieve different levels of difficulty (Metz et al., 2000, Curzon et al., 2009).

 

A Challenging Beam Test adaptation of the traditional Balance Beam is often used to further refine the capabilities of Balance Beam task. The apparatus combines the qualities of the Balance Beam with the Grid task to achieve a refined assessment of the subject’s motor capabilities. This adaptation has been used in sensorimotor assessments of Parkinson’s disease (Glajch et al., 2012) and evaluation of motor functions in mice overexpressing human wildtype alpha-synuclein (Fleming et al., 2006).

Modification to the experimental protocol allows further adaptation of the Balance Beam task for different investigations. The shaping protocol (Sakić et al., 1996) uses positive motivation, such as food rewards, to encourage the subjects to explore the beam during the acquisition trial. Following the initial trial, the process is repeated by placing the subject at different start points on the beam. Another protocol variation includes using a stress-sensitive set-up of the Balance Beam (Prévôt et al., 2017). The protocol uses an aversive stimulus, most often bright lights, and a dark goal box to stimulate the subject to cross the beam.

Data Analysis

The Balance Beam test is used to analyze the sensorimotor functions of rodents. Subjects with anxiety or disease models tend to take a longer time to traverse the beam. Injury and disease can also cause the subjects to lack in motor capabilities. The following parameters are typically measured using the Balance Beam test,

  • Latency to initiate the task
  • Latency to cross the beam
  • Hind leg foot slips (right and left)
  • Number of falls during the trial
  • Total number of steps

Front paw falls tend to be rare and hence are not usually recorded for analysis. Researchers often use a grading or scoring system to analyze the performance of the subjects in the Balance Beam task. Other behaviors like freezing can also be recorded. Visualization of the data using graphs provides an easy way to observe the difference in performance of sham versus disease or injury models.

Translational Research

The Balance Beam task has often been used in the assessment of balance in children. The Springfield Beam Walking test (Seashore, 1947) was developed to provide a standardized measure of dynamic balance. The study evaluated the performances of males aged 5 to 18 years. Another age-based study was conducted by Kokubun et al. in children with mental retardation. The age of walking has long been used as a measure of infantile motor development. The 1996 paper aimed to clarify the predictive value of age in determining walking and motor performances in the later years of a child. The beam walking task used in the investigation was modified depending on the severity of mental retardation in the children.

The Balance Beam task has also seen an application in studies evaluating balance performances of hearing-impaired children. Maes et al. used the balance beam task as one of the tasks to measure balance in hearing impaired children with and without vestibular dysfunction. It was found that children with vestibular dysfunction performed worse than those with normal vestibular responses, though both groups performed significantly poorer than the normal hearing group. Another study by Ebrahimi et al. evaluated the Balance Beam performances of hearing impaired children with and without cochlear implants. The balance performances of implant group were significantly lower than that of the non-implant group. The result suggested that the implant group were at a higher risk of developing motor and balance deficits.

The Balance Beam task was used by Miyasike-daSilva et al. to investigate if mobility aids reduced attentional demands during walking. Subjects were tasked with an attentional demand task in addition to beam walking task. It was observed that mobility aids improved walking performance while allowing the participants to have a faster reaction time to the attentional demand task. This trend was also observed in healthy older participants.

Sipp et al. used the Balance Beam task to assist with identification of the neural mechanisms involved in the loss of balance during walking. High-density EEG, electromyography, and body motion analysis were recorded as the participants walked the treadmill mounted balance beam. The data obtained from the recorded parameters when the participant walked on and off the beam balance was used to analyze sensorimotor cortex clusters.

The availability of latest technology also makes execution of the Balance Beam task using virtual reality a possibility (see also Virtual T-Maze and Virtual Elevated Plus Maze). Antley and Slater (2011) investigated if participants would behave similarly in an immersive virtual environment as they would in a physical environment. Participants performed a Beam Walking task in both physical and immersive virtual environments. Surface electromyography data revealed a significantly comparable onset of muscle activity in both environments. This result suggests that virtual Balance Beam can be efficiently used to assess motor function and balance in humans. With virtual reality, setting up different environments with varying levels of complexity can be easily accomplished. Environments can include a cityscape or an outdoor nature set-up. The benefit of the virtual environments is that they are easily modifiable, cost-effective and provide a safe environment for the participants.

Strengths and Limitations

The Balance Beam task provides a simple and sensitive method of evaluating sensorimotor functions in rodents. The task is more efficient in evaluating subtle motor functions in comparison to the Rotarod test. The simplicity of the construct of the Balance Beam apparatus makes it highly modifiable and adaptable to different requirements of investigations. The difficulty of the task can be easily changed by simply changing the width or the shape of the beams used. A variety of modifications also make this apparatus flexible for different researches.

The Balance Beam task is more suitable for active strains of rodents. However, less active subjects can be trained on the beam using a positive stimulus before the actual experiment. Another consideration is the weight of the animals. Subjects with heavier body weight may require wider beams since the subject’s ability to grip the beam changes with its weight. Repeated trials can also result in experimental fatigue. Thus, it is important that the subjects are allowed enough time to recover between sessions. Apart from these factors, handling of the animal can also influence the performance in addition to the subject’s own mental state and innate behaviors.

Summary

  • Balance Beam task is primarily used to evaluate sensorimotor functions of rodents.
  • The use of the Balance Beam task can be extended to studies of genetic manipulations, neuropsychiatric disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, age-related deficits, and pharmacological manipulations.
  • Balance Beam apparatus is inexpensive and can be easily constructed.
  • Varying the lengths, width, and shape of the beam allows control of the difficulty of the task.
  • Balance Beam can provide a more sensitive assessment of subtle motor functions.
  • Inactive strains may require prior training on the Balance Beam to habituate them to the task.
  • Bright lights and loud noises can be used as aversive stimuli while safe space and food/water can be used as positive stimuli.
  • Some rodents are motivated to climb an inclination. Thus, inclining the beam may help the subject to traverse the beam.
  • Subject’s handling and its innate behaviors can influence the task performance.
  • Residual olfactory stimuli can influence the subject’s performance.
  • Immersive virtual environments can be effectively used in the sensorimotor assessment of human participants.

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