Low-cost conditioned place preference setup including video recording and analysis of behaviour

MethodsX. 2020 Apr 25;7:100899. doi: 10.1016/j.mex.2020.100899. eCollection 2020.


The conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm is widely used in rodent research to test the rewarding and aversive properties of different stimuli. Despite its relative simplicity, commercially available CPP systems are often costly. Here we describe the construction of a CPP setup and a behavioral data analysis pipeline incorporating: • a CPP box which can be built in a single day by using widely available and affordable materials. • an open source computer system for data acquisition (based on Raspberry Pi). • a freely available behavioural analysis software. The behavioural analysis allows for measurement of both locomotor activity and time spent in a zone of interest. Including all components, our setup costs ~1/10 of the cost of the least expensive commercially available CPP boxes alone (not including data acquisition and analysis). We validated the setup by showing that a 4 mg/kg dose of amphetamine increases locomotor activity acutely in adolescent male mice and induces conditioned preference for the drug-paired compartment in the CPP test.

Keywords: CPP; Raspberry Pi; animal tracking; models of reinforcement.