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Evaluation of animal models of neurobehavioral disorders

Overview of attention for article published in Behavioral and Brain Functions, February 2009
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Evaluation of animal models of neurobehavioral disorders
Published in
Behavioral and Brain Functions, February 2009
DOI 10.1186/1744-9081-5-11
Pubmed ID

F Josef van der Staay, Saskia S Arndt, Rebecca E Nordquist


Animal models play a central role in all areas of biomedical research. The process of animal model building, development and evaluation has rarely been addressed systematically, despite the long history of using animal models in the investigation of neuropsychiatric disorders and behavioral dysfunctions. An iterative, multi-stage trajectory for developing animal models and assessing their quality is proposed. The process starts with defining the purpose(s) of the model, preferentially based on hypotheses about brain-behavior relationships. Then, the model is developed and tested. The evaluation of the model takes scientific and ethical criteria into consideration.Model development requires a multidisciplinary approach. Preclinical and clinical experts should establish a set of scientific criteria, which a model must meet. The scientific evaluation consists of assessing the replicability/reliability, predictive, construct and external validity/generalizability, and relevance of the model. We emphasize the role of (systematic and extended) replications in the course of the validation process. One may apply a multiple-tiered 'replication battery' to estimate the reliability/replicability, validity, and generalizability of result.Compromised welfare is inherent in many deficiency models in animals. Unfortunately, 'animal welfare' is a vaguely defined concept, making it difficult to establish exact evaluation criteria. Weighing the animal's welfare and considerations as to whether action is indicated to reduce the discomfort must accompany the scientific evaluation at any stage of the model building and evaluation process. Animal model building should be discontinued if the model does not meet the preset scientific criteria, or when animal welfare is severely compromised. The application of the evaluation procedure is exemplified using the rat with neonatal hippocampal lesion as a proposed model of schizophrenia.In a manner congruent to that for improving animal models, guided by the procedure expounded upon in this paper, the developmental and evaluation procedure itself may be improved by careful definition of the purpose(s) of a model and by defining better evaluation criteria, based on the proposed use of the model.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 495 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 6 1%
Germany 4 <1%
United Kingdom 4 <1%
Portugal 2 <1%
Netherlands 2 <1%
Austria 2 <1%
Brazil 2 <1%
South Africa 2 <1%
France 1 <1%
Other 10 2%
Unknown 460 93%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 98 20%
Student > Bachelor 87 18%
Student > Master 82 17%
Researcher 68 14%
Student > Doctoral Student 21 4%
Other 74 15%
Unknown 65 13%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 119 24%
Neuroscience 94 19%
Medicine and Dentistry 54 11%
Psychology 35 7%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 25 5%
Other 81 16%
Unknown 87 18%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 30 October 2013.
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