Grooming analysis algorithm for neurobehavioural stress research

Allan V. Kalueff*, Pentti Tuohimaa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

210 Citations (Scopus)


Since rodent self-grooming behaviours are elicited by both comfort and stressful conditions, traditional measures such as duration, latency of onset and the number of bouts may be not suitable to dissociate between these opposite conditions. The aim of the current study was to improve and optimize ethological measurement of self-grooming in neurobehavioural stress research enabling differentiation between stress and no-stress situations. This protocol assists in the correct interpretation of animal grooming behaviours and detection of stress by measuring alterations in grooming microstructure in different test situations. While a general pattern of self-grooming uninterrupted cephalocaudal progression is normally observed in no-stress (comfort) conditions in mice and other rodents, the percentage of "incorrect" transitions between different stages and the percentage of interrupted grooming bouts may be used as behavioural marker of stress. The protocol can be a useful tool in neurobehavioural stress research including modelling stress-evoked states, pharmacological screening of potential antistress drugs or behavioural phenotyping of genetically modified animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research Protocols
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioural models
  • Ethological analysis
  • Grooming behaviour
  • Mice
  • Neural basis of behaviour
  • Stress


Dive into the research topics of 'Grooming analysis algorithm for neurobehavioural stress research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this