Need to train your rat? There is an App for that: A touchscreen behavioral evaluation system
The increasing demand for highly automated and flexible tasks capable of assessing visual learning and memory in nonhuman animals has led to the exciting development of a wide array of prefabricated touchscreen-equipped systems. However, the high cost of these prefabricated systems has led many researchers to develop or modify their own preexisting equipment. We developed a freely downloadable App, the Touchscreeen Behavioral Evaluation System (TBES) for use in conjunction with an iPad (Apple, Cupertino, California) as an alternative to prefabricated touchscreen systems. TBES allows for stimulus presentation and data collection on an iPad. The touchscreen technology offered by the iPad is attractive to researchers due to its affordability, reliability, and resistance to false inputs. We highlight these, as well as the feasibility and procedural flexibility of TBES, in an effort to promote our system as a competitive alternative to those currently available.