The novelty-induced hypophagia test is a behavioral paradigm analyzing for anxiety and depression-like states.
The single-housed rat in its home cage is presented with a bottle of sweetened milk for 15 minutes. Habituation is performed on 4 consecutive days. On the 4th day, the latency to drink and the amount of milk consumed is measured in the home cage. On the 5th day, animals are tested in a novel cage of same dimensions without bedding and under bright light of approx. 1000 Lux, thus in an aversive environment. The latency to approach the bottle and to start drinking, as well as the amount of milk consumed within 15 minutes is measured. The performance of the animals at the 4th and 5th day is videotaped and manually analyzed.