Motor Ability Tests

Several customized behavioral tests are offered to phenotype mouse and rat models and evaluate effects of compounds in different in vivo models.

New behavioral tests are continuously developed and validated.

Beam Walk and Challenging Beam Walk Test

These tests are used to measure motor coordination, particularly of the hind limbs.
Animals are trained and tested to traverse an elevated narrow beam which is suspended between a start platform and the animals home cage. The time to fulfill the task and the number of foot slips are recorded. The test is videotaped and parameters are evaluated by a trained observer.

Beam Walk test of 4L/PS-NA mice. Number of total slips of 4L/PS-NA and control littermates monitored over age. n = 7 per group. Two-way ANOVA with Bonferroni’s post hoc test; Mean + SEM; ***p<0.001.


Grip Strength

The Grip Strength test is used to measure neuromuscular functions by determining the maximal peak force developed by a rat or mouse. Therefore, animals are placed on the grip strength apparatus so they are able to grab a small grid with their fore paws (in rats also measurement of hind paw strength is possible). Afterwards, the animal is slowly pulled away from the grid until it releases the handle. The maximum strength of the animals grip is recorded.


Grip strength test of SOD1-G93A mice compared to non-transgenic mice. Shown is the force that animals can use to grip the handle in grams. Two-way ANOVA with Bonferroni’s post hoc test.  Mean ± SEM; **p<0.01; ***p<0.001.


Pasta Gnawing Test

The Pasta Gnawing Test is a stress-free behavioral test  suitable for evaluation of motor deficits in rodents.

During the test, the rodents receive a dry spaghetti in their home cage and gnawing noises of the animals while eating are recorded. Parameters such as biting speed and number of bites per chewing episode are evaluated.

Evaluation of biting peaks in the pasta gnawing test in TAR6/6 transgenic mice. Biting peaks per episode of TDP-43 transgenic TAR6/6 male animals in the pasta gnawing test compared to ntg littermates. n = 10 – 15 per group; Two-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc test; ***p<0.001.


Sonogram with gnawing events:

Pasta Gnawing sonogram1









See wavesound file for auditory record!


See wavesound file for auditory record!

Line 61 tg (3 months)


Line 61 ntg (3 months)


Pole Test

The Pole Test is used to assess basal ganglia related movement disorders in mice.

Animals are placed head-up on top of a vertical wooden pole. The base of the pole is placed in a cage filled with bedding material. When placed on the pole, animals orient themselves downward and descend the length of the pole back into the cage. After two days of training, animals receive five test trials.

The time to orient downward and total time to descend are measured.


Rota Rod Test

The Rota Rod apparatus is used to measure motor coordination and balance. The time the animal is able to stay on an accelerating rod is measured automatically.

Rota Rod test of Line 61 mice. Latency to fall of 1, 2, 3 and 6 month old Line 61 mice and non-transgenic littermates in the Rota Rod test. tg: n = 13 – 15, ntg: n = 11 – 15; Mean + SEM; Two-way  ANOVA with Bonferroni’s post hoc test. *p<0.05; **p<0.01; ***p<0.001.


Wire Hanging Test
The wire suspension test detects neuromuscular abnormalities of motor strength. For this test, a wire cage lid is used where duct tape is placed around the perimeter to prevent the mouse from walking off the edge. The animal is placed on the top of the cage lid. The lid is slightly shaken three times to force the mouse to grip the wires. Afterwards, the lid is turned upside down. The lid is held at a height of approximately 50 – 60 cm above a soft underlay, high enough to prevent the mouse from jumping down, but not high enough to cause harm in the event of a fall. The latency to fall down is quantified. A 90 or 300 second cut-off time is used depending on the model.

Wire hanging test in 1, 2, 3 and 6 month old Line 61 mice compared to non-transgenic littermates. Latency to fall off the wire cage lid. tg: n = 13 – 15, ntg: n = 11 – 15; Mean + SEM; Two-way ANOVA with Bonferroni’s post hoc test. *p<0.05; ***p<0.001.