Standardized and reproducible measurement of decision-making in mice

Valeria Aguillon-Rodriguez, Dora Angelaki, Hannah Bayer, Niccolo Bonacchi, Matteo Carandini, Fanny Cazettes, Gaelle Chapuis, Anne K. Churchland, Yang Dan, Eric Dewitt, Mayo Faulkner, Hamish Forrest, Laura Haetzel, Michael Häusser, Sonja B. Hofer, Fei Hu, Anup Khanal, Christopher Krasniak, Ines Laranjeira, Zachary F. MainenGuido Meijer, Nathaniel J. Miska, Thomas D. Mrsic-Flogel, Masayoshi Murakami, Jean Paul Noel, Alejandro Pan-Vazquez, Cyrille Rossant, Joshua Sanders, Karolina Socha, Rebecca Terry, Anne E. Urai, Hernando Vergara, Miles Wells, Christian J. Wilson, Ilana B. Witten, Lauren E. Wool, Anthony M. Zador

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Progress in science requires standardized assays whose results can be readily shared, compared, and reproduced across laboratories. Reproducibility, however, has been a concern in neuroscience, particularly for measurements of mouse behavior. Here, we show that a standardized task to probe decision-making in mice produces reproducible results across multiple laboratories. We adopted a task for head-fixed mice that assays perceptual and value-based decision making, and we standardized training protocol and experimental hardware, software, and procedures. We trained 140 mice across seven laboratories in three countries, and we collected 5 million mouse choices into a publicly available database. Learning speed was variable across mice and laboratories, but once training was complete there were no significant differences in behavior across laboratories. Mice in different laboratories adopted similar reliance on visual stimuli, on past successes and failures, and on estimates of stimulus prior probability to guide their choices. These results reveal that a complex mouse behavior can be reproduced across multiple laboratories. They establish a standard for reproducible rodent behavior, and provide an unprecedented dataset and open-access tools to study decision-making in mice. More generally, they indicate a path toward achieving reproducibility in neuroscience through collaborative open-science approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere63711
StatePublished - May 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Neuroscience


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