SR-LAB™ startle response system is your best choice for startle reflex testing. The system’s design ensures accurate results for all paradigms. You will not be limited by the software to any specific paradigms, either—it supports any paradigm while ensuring your data is saved in a single-file for easy retrieval and export.
Test up to 16 animals at one time in SDI’s unique tubular enclosures which eliminate restraint stress and keep the animal in place to gather the most reliable data.
The SR-LABTM startle response system is the world’s most widely used startle reflex behavioral research system and the most successful for measuring startle habituation, pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) and Fear Potentiated Startle (FPS).
Execute any and all startle reflex testing paradigms using the SR-LAB Software and specialized additional kits—and ensure accuracy using SR-LAB’s proprietary accelerometer which accommodates the rapid force changes in startle testing.
The only system of its kind that expands to 16 test stations, your SR-LAB™ will test a large number of animals at any given time. It will also test animals of varying sizes—from the smallest mouse to the largest rat using one of five sizes of easily changeable animal enclosures.
The basic SR-LAB System will test the Startle Habituation and Pre-Pulse Inhibition paradigms with no additional kits required. To test the Fear Potentiated Startle paradigm, simply add on the SR-LAB Potentiated Startle Kit which includes the SDI Shocker (a proprietary design that keeps the animal from determining any patterns), a shock grid, and a cue light. No additional software is required to support the Fear Potentiated Startle paradigm .
With the SR-LAB software, you can develop and execute any startle reflex testing paradigm. Other systems utilize different software for each paradigm which has two drawbacks: One—you will spend more money, and two—you have no flexibility in designing your own paradigms, and instead are limited to the paradigms offered by the manufacturer.
Be assured all trials are executed without missing any trials using SR-LAB’s concept of a Session containing Trials (discrete tests). Each session will run the animals through all the trials, and save all trial data for later analysis.
Define your trials to meet your specific needs by selecting commands from a wide range within a predefined menu. Add, Insert or Delete commands to assure that the Trial definition is correct for your needs.
Set your session level parameters, construct trial lists, and set up Inter-Trial Intervals using SR-LAB’s simple point-and-click interface.
Your session parameters can include number of samples, sample rate, background noise level, and repetitions. You can also define and edit sessions with the click of a mouse by inserting or removing Trials. In addition, edit or rename your sessions any time with ease.
The ability to automatically randomize durations for Inter Trial Intervals assures that the animal will not discern a pattern that would skew results.
Monitor your test process at a glance by viewing response waveforms. Unlike other systems, the waveform visual gives you quick assurance that the calculated numbers are accurate.
Verify all of your startle response data with the SR-LAB Analysis Software. For each response, you can review the complete waveform to verify your numeric data. Scoring parameters you can set include Start Analysis, Analysis Range, Baseline and Response Window.. The SR-LAB Analysis Software also assures your calculated values are correct by allowing you to see, export, and use your raw data values.
SR-LAB’s accelerometer is a key factor in the accuracy the system provides. The sensor reacts very quickly to sudden force changes—assuring you get an accurate reading for the smallest mouse to the largest rat. The accuracy provided by the sensor is aided by a complimentary enclosure design, which tightly couples the enclosure with the sensor. Other systems use Load Cells which do not react as well to sudden force changes and also have limited ranges, requiring you to change load cells as animal weights change.
The SR-LAB’s tubular enclosures are designed to allow the animals to turn around freely without constraint—thus avoiding restraint stress that can alter results. At the same time, the tubular design keeps animals over the sensor for reliable results. Your subjects will be monitored using an ultra-stable, hermetically sealed motion sensor that records a wide range of startle responses. Enclosures are designed with clear acrylic for easy cleaning and are available in five different sizes.
ABS Isolation Cabinet - 15” (W) x 14” (D) x 18” (H)
Control Box - 10.25” (W) x 10.25” (D) x 4 3/8” (H)
Small Animal Enclosure - 3 1⁄2” (L) x 1.1” (ID) Up to ~25g
Small/Medium Animal Enclosure - 5” (L) x 1 1⁄2” (ID) Up to ~50g
Medium Animal Enclosure - 6” (L) x 2 1⁄4” (ID) Up to ~150g
Large Animal Enclosure - 8” (L) x 3 1⁄2” (ID) Up to ~450g
X-Large Animal Enclosure- 10" (L) x 5" (ID) Up to ~800g
Small/Medium Slotted Animal Enclosure - 5” (L) x 1 1⁄2” (ID)
Medium Slotted Animal Enclosure - 6” (L) x 2 1⁄4” (ID)
Large Slotted Animal Enclosure- 8” (L) x 3 1⁄2” (ID)
X-Large Slotted Animal Enclosure- 10" (L) x 5" (ID)
24 lbs. (Isolation Cabinet), 3 lbs. (Control Box)
Isolation Cabinet: ABS plastic, Control Box: Plastic, Animal Enclosure: Acrylic
16 stations per computer
Foot shocks, air puffs, PPI LED Light, High Intensity Light, and user-defined stimuli
Color Options White
If the paradigms you need are not included with SR-LAB’s basic kit, add-on kits are available, requiring no additional software or constraints. Add-on kits offered include:
This kit, used for Fear Potentiated Startle testing, includes a shocker with 8 scrambled outputs, shock grid and cue light. The scrambled outputs prevent the animal from discerning a shock pattern assuring excelletn results.
This kit allows the user a full range of frequencies driven by a generated .wav file. You control the frequency, amplitude and duration of sounds via the .wav file. This approach eliminates any sound clicks present in other systems. The speakers can handle up to 30 KHz. SDI offers a sound card capable of 90 KHz or the built in sound card in a computer can be used. This kit is extremely useful for gap detection startle reflex testing.
An add-on light to the animal enclosure is used as a Pre-Pulse stimulus to provide cross-modal startle reflex testing. On and off times are controlled from the SR-LAB software.
The Tactile Kit provides an air puff stimulus, which is generally used as a kinder, gentler alternative to shock.
The Relay Chassis gives you maximum flexibility in your startle testing.
It contains four relays to control the On/Off of external devices (which are not supplied by San Diego Instruments). The SR-LAB Software controls the Relay Chassis.
The kit supplies an immense amount of bright light within the test station, which brings on anxiety in the animal. The LED lights give off no heat, which can affect the animal. This kit is used for anxiety potentiated startle testing.
The baseline response of each of your test stations will be set to the same level prior to testing using the Standardization Unit, which attaches to the top of the animal enclosure and places a repeating fixed force on the sensor. Adjust the response level to the guideline numbers in the user’s manual by turning the Response Adjust dial on the side of the test station. After setting one test station, all you need to do is move the Standardization Unit to the next station and repeat. This assures that results data from multiple tests stations can be compared and your resulting analysis is reliable.
Measurement of Startle Response, Prepulse Inhibition and Habituation
Geyer MA, Swerdlow NR.
5-HT1A Receptor Knockout, but not 5-HT1B Receptor Knockout Mice, Show Reduced Startle Reactivity and Footshock-induced Sensitization, as Measured with the Acoustic Startle Response
Anneloes Dirks, Tommy Pattija, J. Adriaan Bouwknechta, Tatjana T. Westphala, Theo H. Hijzena, Lucianne Groeninka, Jan van der Gugtena, Ronald S. Oostingb, René Henc, Mark A. Geyerd and Berend Oliviera
Startle Responses, Heart Rate, and Temperature in 5-HT1B Receptor Knockout Mice
Bouwknecht, J Adriaan; Hijzen, Theo H.; van der Gugten, Jan; Dirks, Anneloes; A. Maes, Robert A.; Hen, Rene; Geyer, Mark A.; Olivier, Berend
The Effects of Perinatal AZT Exposure on the Acoustic Startle Response in Adult Rats
Susan M. Melnicka, Jeremy Weedonb and Diana L. Dow-Edwards
GABA-A and 5-HT1A receptor agonists block expression of fear-potentiated startle in mice
Risbrough, Victoria B.; Brodkin, Jesse D.; Geyer, Mark A.
Metabotropic Glutamate Subtype 5 Receptors Modulate Locomotor Activity and Sensorimotor Gating in Rodents
Kinney GG, Burno M, Campbell UC, Hernandez LM, Rodriguez D, Bristow LJ, Conn PJ.
A: Because, as with any system, there is small amount of electrical and mechanical noise in the system. Empty chamber values should be small (<10 mV). This noise is accounted for in the system calibration so the net test results aren’t affected by the ambient noise in the chamber. Contact SDI if these values are large. ALSO SEE NEXT FAQ.
A: If the variability is among the chambers when you standardize, make sure that your chambers are on a stable, flat surface - seismic isolation of chambers is important. If a rigid counter cannot be used, consider mounting chambers on concrete blocks. If the variability is low in standardization, but is seen in animal data then there may be a sound problem. See the manual for calibrating sound.
A: Check that all cable connections are correct. If the display is blank the main fuse has failed. If the display shows 0.0 and will not move off this reading the high voltage fuse has failed. A user can remove the top of the shocker to replace either fuse. Extra fuses are stored inside the shocker.
A: Make sure the power supply to the test station is turned on. Check by turning on the light. Check that the response BNC cable going from the test station to the front of the control box is connected securely.
A: Your mouse may be of a strain that loses hearing as they age. Check to make sure they can hear. Many researchers find that mice show a better startle response to tactile rather than acoustic startle stimuli.
A: Sixteen stations.
A: Refer to Geyer, M.A. and Swerdlow, N. R Measurement of Startle Response, Prepulse Inhibition, and Habituation in Current Protocols in Neuroscience (1998) 8.7.1-8.7.15 .
A: The Standardization Unit provides a constant input to the SR-LAB software. This allows each chamber to be adjusted to the same baseline response allowing comparison of test results between test stations.. The Standardization Unit also establishes that test stations are reliable.
A: First, construct your Trials using the commands from the software menu. Then, construct a Session Definition to control the Background level, the Recording granularity, the Inter-Trial Intervals and the number of repetitions. Within the Session Definition, insert the Trial names you want to run in the order you want them run. We strongly recommend you refer to Geyer, M.A. and Swerdlow, N. R Measurement of Startle Response, Prepulse Inhibition, and Habituation in Current Protocols in Neuroscience (1998) 8.7.1-8.7.15 for rat testing and Geyer, M. A. and Stephanie C. Dulawa (2003) Assessment of Murine Startle Reactivity, Prepulse Inhibition, and Habituation, Current Protocols in Neuroscience, 8.17.1 - 8.17.15 for mice testing.