Welcome to Richard Brown's Lab

Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Dalhousie University
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 4R2, Canada

Research in our laboratory looks at five different aspects of rodent behaviour.

1. We are developing a set of standardized test batteries (the "Mouse IQ" test) 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. The aim is to develop bioassays for different cognitive processes

2. We are using developmental test batteries to examine behavioural development in genetically defined mouse and rat strains and the role of genes, hormones and environment in behavioural development in these genetically defined strains.

3. We are studying strain and sex differences in social behaviour in rodents in tests of social attraction, social preference and social communication.

4. Rodent models of Alzheimer's Disease and other neurological disorders. We are testing mouse models of Alzheimer Disease, Fragile X Syndrome, ADHD and other neurological disorders using our developmental and Mouse IQ test batteries.  

5. Mouse models of Autism spectrum disorder. We are testing transgenic mouse models of ASD in our developmental, cognitive and social behaviour test batteries to understand the relationship between genetics, neural development and neurodevelopmental disorders.

6. The effects of novel drugs for the treatment of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders in mouse models. Using our test batteries we are looking at the short- and long-term effects of novel drugs to treat disorders such as Autism and Alzheimer's disease..

This research is supported by NSERC of Canada.