Lab Techniques 

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Stereotaxic Surgery

​We perform stereotaxic surgery to [1] implant cannula for behavioral pharmacology [2] inject AAV-shRNA for viral mediated knockdown [3] inject cre-dependent AAV DREADDs for chemogenetic control of anatomically and phenotypically distinct neural populations. 

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Light and Florescence Microscopy

​We do both light and fluorescence microscopy to histologically confirm surgical placements to chemically identify phenotypically distinct populations of neurons.

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Meal Pattern Analysis

Animals are housed in a custom automated feedometer that has hanging wire bottom cages with an access hole to a food cup that rests on an electronic scale. The feedometer is connected to software that records the weight of the food cup every 10 seconds. Food spillage and body weight are manually measured. This allows us to collect meal size, meal number, inter meal interval and other meal pattern data. 

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Operant Conditioning 

Operant chambers are typically used for evaluation of appetitive and motivated feeding behaviors, where rats have to work to press a lever for palatable food. 

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Measurement of Energy Expenditure

Telemetric transponders are implanted into rats, which record and transmit correlates of energy expenditure including core temperature (TC), spontaneous physical activity (SPA), heart rate (HR).

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Conditioned Place Prefernce 

Conditioned Place Preference (CPP) is used to evaluate food seeking behavior when food is not available in the environment.

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