Richard Brown



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

• Wong, AA and Brown RE.  Prevention of vision loss protects against age-related cognitive impairment in DBA/2J mice.  Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience,  18 September 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2013.00052
• Roddick, K.M., Schellinck, H.M., and Brown, R.E. Olfactory delayed matching to sample performance in mice: Sex differences in the 5XFAD mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Behavioural Brain Research, 2014, 270, 165–170.
• Stevens, L.M. and Brown, R.E.   Reference and working memory deficits in the 3xTg-AD mouse between 2 and 15 months of age:  A cross-sectional study.  Behavioural Brain Research, 2015, 278, 496-505. 
• Stover, KR, Campbell, MA, Van Winssen, CM, and Brown RE.  Analysis of motor function in 6- month-old male and female 3xTg-AD mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 2015, 281, 16-23.
• Wilkinson, M. W. and Brown, R.E.   An Introduction to Neuroendocrinology, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press, June, 2015. 479 pages. 
• Stover, KR, Campbell, MA, Van Winssen, CM, and Brown RE.  Early detection of cognitive deficits in the 3xTg-AD mouse model of Alzheimer's Disease. Behavioural Brain Research, 2015, 289, 29-38. 
• Rae, E. A. and Brown, R.E.  The problem of genotype and sex differences in life expectancy in transgenic AD mice.  Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews,  2015, 57, 238-251.
• Roddick KM, Roberts AD, Schellinck HS, and Brown RE.  Sex and genotype differences in odour detection in the 3xTg-AD and 5XFAD mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease at 6 months of age. Chemical Senses,  2016, 41, 433–440.
• Brown, R.E.  Hebb and Cattell: The genesis of the theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence.  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2016, 10:606.  doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00606 
 • O'Leary, T.P., Shin, S., Fertan, E., Dingle, R.N., Almuklass, A., Gunn, R.K., Yu, Z., Wang, J., and Brown, R.E.  Reduced acoustic startle response and peripheral hearing loss in the 5XFAD mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease  Genes Brain and Behaviour,  2017, 16, 554-563. 
• 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.

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