Whisker-signaled eyeblink classical conditioning in head-fixed mice

Carmen Lin, John Disterhoft, Craig Weiss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Eyeblink conditioning is a common paradigm for investigating the neural mechanisms underlying learning and memory. To better utilize the extensive repertoire of scientific techniques available to study learning and memory at the cellular level, it is ideal to have a stable cranial platform. Because mice do not readily tolerate restraint, they are usually trained while moving about freely in a chamber. Conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) information are delivered and eyeblink responses recorded via a tether connected to the mouse's head. In the head-fixed apparatus presented here, mice are allowed to run as they desire while their heads are secured to facilitate experimentation. Reliable conditioning of the eyeblink response is obtained with this training apparatus, which allows for the delivery of whisker stimulation as the CS, a periorbital electrical shock as the US, and analysis of electromyographic (EMG) activity from the eyelid to detect blink responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere53310
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number109
StatePublished - Mar 30 2016


  • Behavior
  • Cerebellum
  • Cylindrical treadmill
  • Hippocampus
  • Issue 109
  • Learning and memory
  • Trace conditioning
  • Whisker barrels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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