A low-cost touchscreen operant chamber using a Raspberry Pi™

Behav Res Methods. 2018 Dec;50(6):2523-2530. doi: 10.3758/s13428-018-1030-y.


The development of a touchscreen platform for rodent testing has allowed new methods for cognitive testing that have been back-translated from clinical assessment tools to preclinical animal models. This platform for cognitive assessment in animals is comparable to human neuropsychological tests such as those employed by the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery, and thus has several advantages compared to the standard maze apparatuses typically employed in rodent behavioral testing, such as the Morris water maze. These include improved translation of preclinical models, as well as high throughput and the automation of animal testing. However, these systems are relatively expensive, which can impede progress for researchers with limited resources. Here we describe a low-cost touchscreen operant chamber based on the single-board computer, Raspberry PiTM, which is capable of performing tasks similar to those supported by current state-of-the-art systems. This system provides an affordable alternative for cognitive testing in a touchscreen operant paradigm for researchers with limited funding.

Keywords: Arduino; Automation; Cognition; Operant behavior; Raspberry Pi; Touchscreen operant chamber.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computer Peripherals
  • Computers*
  • Conditioning, Operant*
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Rodentia
  • Software
  • User-Computer Interface*