UNIT 8.12 Motor Coordination and Balance in Rodents

  1. Rebecca J. Carter1,
  2. Jennifer Morton1,
  3. Stephen B. Dunnett2

Published Online: 1 AUG 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0812s15

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Carter, R. J., Morton, J. and Dunnett, S. B. 2001. Motor Coordination and Balance in Rodents. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 15:8.12:8.12.1–8.12.14.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

  2. 2

    Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 AUG 2001
  2. Published Print: MAY 2001


Measurement of motor coordination and balance can be used not only to assess the effect of drugs or other experimental manipulations on mice and rats, but also to characterize the motor phenotype of transgenic or knock-out animals. Three well established and widely used protocols for measuring motor coordination and balance in mice and rats (rotarod, beam walking and footprint analysis) are described in this unit. The tests can be used equally well for rats and mice, and have been used both for the phenotypic characterization of transgenic mice and for evaluating the effects of lesions and aging in rats. The protocols are described in the primary context of testing mice, but modifications of the test apparatus or variations in the test parameters for assessment of rats are noted.