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Richard Brown



Related Information

Research Website

Department of Psychology and Neuroscience , Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Email: rebrown@dal.ca
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

•O’Leary, T.P. and  Brown, R.E.  Optimization of apparatus design and behavioural measures for the assessment of visuo-spatial learning and memory of mice on the Barnes maze.  Learning and Memory, 2013, 20, 85-96.
• O'Leary, T.P. , Gunn, R.K.,  and Brown, R.E.  What are we measuring when we test strain differences in anxiety in mice?  Behavior Genetics,  2013, 43, 34-50.  
• Wong, A.A. and  Brown, R.E.   A neuro-behavioral analysis of the prevention of visual impairment in the DBA/2J mouse model of glaucoma.  Investigative Opthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS), 2012, 53 (9), 5956-5966.
• Brown, R. E.   Improving animal models for nervous system disorders.   Genes Brain and Behavior, 2012, 11, 753-756.
• Schellinck, H. M., Cyr. D.P. and Brown, R.E. How many ways can mouse behavioral experiments go wrong?  Confounding variables in mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases and how to control them. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 210,  41, 255-366.

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)

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