Richard Brown

Professor Emeritus


Related Information

Research Website

Phone: (902) 494-3647
Fax: (902) 494-6585
Mailing Address: 
Dalhousie University, Life Sciences Centre, Room 3335, 1355 Oxford Street, PO Box 15000, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Behavioural endocrinology
  • Developmental psychobiology
  • Drugs and behaviour
  • Behaviour of transgenic and mutant mice
  • Development
  • Animal behaviour
  • Memory


BA/BSc University of Victoria, Canada, Bsc (Honours) Psychology, 1970
MA/MSc  Dalhousie University, Canada, MA 1972, Psychology
PhD (University)  Dalhousie University, Canada, PhD 1975  Psychology, Physiology
PDF (University)  University of Oxford, England  PDF 1976-78  Zoology

Research Interests

Research in my laboratory looks at different aspects of rodent behaviour. We are developing a set of standardized test batteries to study the behaviour of inbred, mutant and knockout  mice.  This includes an "ethological" test battery, a learning and memory test battery and a developmental test battery. Tests used include visual acuity, rotarod, elevated plus maze, elevated zero maze, open field, light-dark box, Hebb-Williams maze, Barnes maze, water maze, olfactory discrimination learning, olfactometer, cued and context conditioning, nine hole box, and others.  We use these tests to study roden

Selected Publications

• Brown, RE and Bolivar, S. The importance of behavioural bioassays in neuroscience. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 2018, 300, 68-76.
• O’Leary, T.P., Robertson, A., Chipman, P. H., Rafuse, V.F. and Brown, R.E. Motor function deficits in the 12 month-old 5xFAD mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Behavioural Brain Research, 2018, 337, 256–263.  DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2017.09.009
• King, J.L., Wong, AA, and Brown, RE.   Age-related changes in the spatial frequency threshold of male and female 3xTg-AD mice using OptoMotry.  Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2018, 62, 591-596. 
• Kane AE, Shin S, Wong AA, Fertan E, Faustova, N., Howlett, SE, and Brown RE.  Sex differences in healthspan predict lifespan in the 3x Tg-AD mouse model of Alzheimer's Disease.  Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 12 June 2018, Volume 10, article 172, 10 pages.
• Lorusso L, Piccolino M, Motta S, Gasparello A, Barbara JG, Bossi-Régnier L, Shepherd GM, Swanson L, Magistretti P, Everitt B, Molnár Z, Brown R. Neuroscience without borders: Preserving the history of Neuroscience. European Journal of Neuroscience. 2018, 48(5):2 099-2109. doi: 10.1111/ejn.14101. 
• Garvock-de Montbrun T, Fertan E, Stover K, Brown RE.  Motor deficits in 16-month-old male and female 3xTg-AD mice.  Behavioural Brain Research, 2019, 356:305-313. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2018.09.006.  PMID: 30208295
• Langille JJ, Brown RE. The Synaptic Theory of Memory: A Historical Survey and Reconciliation of Recent Opposition.  Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 2018, Oct 26; 12: 52.     doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2018.00052.     PMID: 30416432
• Grant RA, Wong AA, Fertan E, Brown RE.   Whisker exploration behaviours in the 5xFAD mouse are affected by sex and retinal degeneration. Genes, Brain and Behaviour, 2018, Oct 23:e12532. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12532. 
• O’Leary, T. P., Mantolino, H.M., Stover, K. and Brown R. E.  Age-related deterioration of motor function in male and female  5xFAD mice from 3-16 months of age.  Genes, Brain and Behaviour, 2018.  Nov 13:e12538. doi: 10.1111/gbb.12538. 
• Gür E, Fertan E, Kosel F, Wong AA, Balci F, Brown RE.  Sex differences in the timing behavior performance of 3xTg-AD and wild-type mice in the peak interval procedure. Behavioural Brain Research 2019 Mar 15;360:235-243. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2018.11.047. 
• Ezgi Gür, Emre Fertan, Kindree Alkins, Aimée A. Wong, Richard E. Brown & Fuat Balci. Interval Timing is Disrupted in Female 5xFAD Mice: An Indication of Altered  Memory Processes.  J Neuro Res. 2019;Jul; 97(7): 817-827. doi: 10.1002/jnr.24418.
• Fertan E, Brown, RE and Weaver, ICG. Cognitive Decline, Cerebral-Spleen Tryptophan Metabolism,Cytokine Production and Regulation of the Txnip Gene in 3xTg-AD Mice". The American Journal of Pathology, 2019 Jul; 189(7): 1435-1450. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2019.03.006.
• Brown RE.  Why study the history of neuroscience? Front. Behav. Neurosci. 2019. 13:82.  doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2019.00082
• Emre Fertan, Nicole Woodland, and Richard E. Brown. Spatial Working Memory and Sex-Related Motivational Deficits in the 3xTg-AD Mice in the Hebb-Williams Maze.  Behavioural Brain Research, 2019 Sep 16; 370: 111937.
• Cooke MB, O’Leary TP,  Harris P, Brown RE,  Snyder JS.  Pathfinder: open source software for analyzing spatial navigation search strategies  F1000 Research, 2020, 8:1521 Last updated: 15 June 2020. (
• Simanaviciute U, Ahmed J, Brown RE, Connor-Robson N, Farr TD, Fertan E, Gambles, N., Garland, H., Morton, A.J.,  Staiger, J.F., Skillings, E.A., Trueman, R.C.,  Wade-Martins,  R.,Wood, N.I., Wong, A.A.,  and Grant, R.A. Recommendations for measuring whisker movements and locomotion in mice with sensory, motor, and cognitive deficits.   Journal of Neuroscience Methods,  2020, 331: 108532. 13 pages. Available on-line 12 December 2019.
• Brown, RE.  Donald O. Hebb and the Organization of Behavior: 17 years in the writing. Molecular Brain, 2020, 13: 55.  28 pages.
• O’Leary, T. P., Stover, K., Mantolino, H.M., Darvesh, S., and Brown R. E. Olfactory memory from 3 to 15 months of age in the 5xFAD mouse model of Alzheimer disease. Behavioural Brain Research, 2020, 393: 112731.
• Luke M, Brown RE, Rutishauser U, and Clarke DB. Polysialylated – neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) promotes recovery of vision after the critical period.  Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 2020, 107, 103537.
• Fertan E, Wong AA, Purdon MK, Weaver ICCG, and Brown RE.  The Effect of Background Strain on the Behavioural Phenotypes of the MDGA2+/- Mouse Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder.   Genes Brain and Behaviour, 2021; 20: e12696. 18 pages.
• Gendron WH,  Fertan E, Pelletier S, Roddick KM, O’Leary,TP,  Anini Y, Brown RE. (2021). Age related weight loss in female 5xFAD mice from 3 to 12 months of age. Manuscript number: BBRES-D-20-01230. Behavioural Brain Research, 2021, 406, 113214.
• Mbiydzenyuy NE, Pieme CA, Brown RE, and Nguemeni C.  Neuroscience Education and Research in Cameroon: Current status and future directions. IBRO Neuroscience Reports: Special issue on Neuroscience in Africa, Manuscript No: IBROR-D-20-00080.  In Press, 12 March 2021.  9 pages.

Awards and Honours

• University Research Professor, Dalhousie University, 2009-2014.
• Senior Visiting Research Professor, St. John's College, and the Department of Psychology, University of Oxford, UK. 2008-2009.
• Faculty of Science Killam Research Professor, Dalhousie University, 2002-2007.
• Faculty of Science Award for Teaching Excellence,  Dalhousie University, March 2006.
• Dalhousie Association of Psychology Students (DAPS) Professor of the Year Award, March 2012.


• Alzheimer's Association International Society (ISTAART)
• Canadian Association of Neuroscientists  2007-
• International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society
• International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)
• International Society for Developmental Psychobiology
• Society for Neuroscience


Professor, Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, 1988-present.


Psychology/Neuroscience 2170: Hormones and Behaviour (lecture).
Psychology/Neuroscience 3161: Measuring Behaviour (lecture and laboratory)
Psychology/Neuroscience 4740: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (Seminar)
Psychology/Neuroscience 4587: Topics in the History of Neuroscience

Service and Activity

Chairman, Psychology Department, Dalhousie University, 1989-1996
Chairman, NSERC of Canada Psychology Grants Committee (GSC12), 1996-97
Director, Neuroscience Institute, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. Canada, 1997-1999.
President, CSBBCS, 1998-99.
Chairman, Psychology Department, Dalhousie University, July 2002 - 2008.
President, International Behavioural and Neurogenetics Society (IBANGS), 2010-2011
Taught in the IBRO neuroscience school in Yaounde Cameroon organized by Dr. Carine Nguemeni. July 2018.
Taught in the IBRO School at Entebbe Uganda, organized by Nilesh Patel and myself.  June 2017
Taught at the IBRO/ISN Neuroscience School on Phytochemical-based neuroscience research in Ibadan Nigeria, organized by Dr. James Olopade. February 2017
Fellow of the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS), May 2017.
Associate Dean of Science (Research), Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada. Sept 2014 - August 2016.
Visiting Professor, Wolfson College, Oxford. Sept. 2013-August 2014.