Bridging the translational gap in rodent behavioral testing using touchscreens and the MouseBytes Open science data repository

Presented at: Neuroscience 2020
C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
  • Canada Research Chair in Neurochemistry of Dementia, Scientist, Robarts Research Institute, Professor Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology
      Marco Prado is a Canada Research Chair in Neurochemistry of Dementia with strong interest in understanding how molecular and cellular changes in neurodegenerative diseases contribute to protein misfolding and cognitive failure. Marco Prado serves in multiple advisory boards, including the Institute Advisory Board for the Institute of Neuroscience Mental Health and Addiction (CIHR-INMHA, 2018-) and the leadership of BrainsCAN (Western's $66M CFREF), as a Co-Chair of Internal Funding. He is the current Deputy Chief Editors for Reviews for the Journal of eurochemistry, the premier scholar publication in brain chemistry. In recognition for his research, Marco Prado received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship (Guggenheim Foundation), a Faculty Scholar Award (University of Western
      Ontario), the Dean's Research Excellence Award (University of Western Ontario) and a visiting faculty award from the Brazilian Government. His laboratory has been funded consistently in the last 24 years by government and private agencies in three different countries (Brazil, USA and Canada). He has published over 160 peer-reviewed manuscripts and he is currently spearheading an Open Science Repository for high-level cognitive data obtained with mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases. This effort will support a community of more than 300 laboratories to increase reproducibility and replicability of cognitive datasets in pre-clinical research.


    Open Science has changed research by making data accessible and shareable, contributing to replicability to accelerate and disseminate knowledge. However, for rodent cognitive studies the availability of tools to share and disseminate data is scarce. Automated touchscreen-based tests enable systematic cognitive assessment with easily standardized outputs that can facilitate data dissemination. Here we present an integration of touchscreen cognitive testing  with an open-access database public repository (, as well as a Web platform for knowledge dissemination ( We complement these resources with the largest dataset of age-dependent high-level cognitive assessment of mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, expanding knowledge of affected cognitive domains from male and female mice of three mouse strains. We envision that these new platforms will enhance sharing of protocols, data availability and transparency, allowing meta-analysis and reuse of mouse cognitive data to increase the replicability/reproducibility of datasets.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand the pitfalls and advantages of cognitive testing in mouse models of disease
    2. Learn about new initiatives in Open Science and data sharing for behavioral neuroscience

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