Seminar by Dr. Richard E. Brown, Dalhousie University: "The importance of Behavioural Bioassays in Neuroscience."

Author: CSSH
Time: 13:00
Location: SOS 104


 The behavioural bioassay is fundamental to research in behavioural neuroscience. A described by Tinbergen, behaviour is measured to answer questions about development, mechanisms, adaptation and evolution. Chemical assays, bioassays, and behavioural bioassays have been developed for detecting and quantifying substances such as neurotransmitters, hormones, and toxins and for measuring behaviour. This talk begins with an overview of these methods and then focuses on how behavioural bioassays are developed. Ethograms and qualitative descriptions of behaviour units are discussed. Sampling and recording rules are then considered, along with quantitative descriptions of the behaviours being observed.  The talk concludes with examples of behavioural bioassays used for detecting various internal and external stimuli, along with considerations such as the complexity of the stimuli and the problem of measuring "psychological" states such as anxiety, from behaviour. Suggestions are made for improving the validity and reliability of behavioural bioassays in neuroscience.