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dc.contributor.authorDe Brouwer, Geoffrey
dc.contributor.authorWolmarans, De Wet
dc.identifier.citationDe Brouwer, G. & Wolmarans D.W. 2018. Back to basics: a methodological perspective on marble-burying behavior as a screening test for psychiatric illness. Behavioural processes, 157:590-600. []en_US
dc.identifier.issn1872-8308 (Online)
dc.description.abstractAnimal models of human psychiatric illness are valuable frameworks to investigate the etiology and neurobiology underlying the human conditions. Accurate behavioral measures that can be used to characterize animal behavior, thereby contributing to a model’s validity, are crucial. One such measure, i.e. the rodent marble-burying test (MBT), is often applied as a measure of anxiety- and compulsive-like behaviors. However, the test is characterized by noteworthy between-laboratory methodological differences and demonstrates positive treatment responses to an array of pharmacotherapies that are often of little translational value. Therefore, using a naturalistic animal model of obsessive-compulsive disorder, i.e. the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii), the current investigation attempted to illuminate the discrepancies reported in literature by means of a methodological approach to the MBT. Five key aspects of the test that vary between laboratories, viz. observer/scoring, burying substrate, optional avoidance, the use of repeated testing, and determinations of locomotor activity, have been investigated. Following repeated MB tests in four different burying substrates and in two zone configurations, we have demonstrated that 1) observer bias may contribute to the significant differences in findings reported, 2) MB seems to be a natural exploratory response to a novel environment, rather than being triggered by aberrant cognition, 3) burying substrates with a small particle size and higher density deliver the most accurate results with respect to the burying phenotype, and 4) to exclude the influence of normal exploratory behavior on the number of marbles being covered, assessments of marble-burying should be based on pre-occupation with the objects itselfen_US
dc.subjectAnimal modelen_US
dc.subjectPeromyscus maniculatus bairdiien_US
dc.titleBack to basics: a methodological perspective on marble-burying behavior as a screening test for psychiatric illnessen_US
dc.contributor.researchID12324515 - Wolmarans, Petrus De Wet
dc.contributor.researchID23511990 - De Brouwer, Geoffrey

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