Skip to main content

The Nest Building Test in Mice for Assessment of General Well-Being

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB,volume 1916)


This chapter presents a method for assessing general behavior, well-being, and sensorimotor gating. A detailed protocol is given for assessment of nest building performance in female mice using a strict scoring system. The test can be used for assessing moods and behaviors associated with psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. It can also be useful for testing movement disorders such as Parkinson disease.

Key words

  • Nest building
  • Mouse
  • Behavioral disorder
  • Mood
  • Movement disorder
  • Sensorimotor gating

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   49.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8994-2_7
  • Chapter length: 5 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4939-8994-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD   219.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 1

Springer Nature is developing a new tool to find and evaluate Protocols. Learn more


  1. Lynch CB (1994) Evolutionary inferences from genetic analyses of cold adaptation in laboratory and wild populations of the house mouse. In: Boake CRB (ed) Quantitative genetic studies of behavioral evolution, 2nd edn. University of Chicago Press 15 Aug. 1994). ISBN-10: 0226062163

    Google Scholar 

  2. Deacon RM (2006) Assessing nest building in mice. Nat Protoc 1(3):1117–1119

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Paumier KL, Sukoff Rizzo SJ, Berger Z, Chen Y, Gonzales C, Kaftan E et al (2013) Behavioral characterization of A53T mice reveals early and late stage deficits related to Parkinson’s disease. PLoS One 8(8):e70274.

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  4. Goto T, Okayama A, Toyoda A (2015) Strain differences in temporal changes of nesting behaviors in C57BL/6N, DBA/2N, and their F1 hybrid mice assessed by a three-dimensional monitoring system. Behav Process 119:86–92

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Chiu HY, Chan MH, Lee MY, Chen ST, Zhan ZY, Chen HH (2014) Long-lasting alterations in 5-HT2A receptor after a binge regimen of methamphetamine in mice. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 17:1647–1658

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  6. Deacon RM, Croucher A, Rawlins JN (2002) Hippocampal cytotoxic lesion effects on species-typical behaviours in mice. Behav Brain Res 132:203–213

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. Van de Weerd HA, Van Loo PL, Van Zutphen LF, Koolhaas JM, Baumans V (1997) Nesting material as environmental enrichment has no adverse effects on behavior and physiology of laboratory mice. Physiol Behav 62(5):1019–1028

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  8. Rohr S, Dufour BD, Gaskill BN, Pajor EA, Garner JP (2008) Home improvement: C57BL/6J mice given more naturalistic nesting materials build better nests. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 47:25–31

    PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  9. Grabrucker S, Boeckers TM, Grabrucker AM (2016) Gender dependent evaluation of autism like behavior in mice exposed to prenatal zinc deficiency. Front Behav Neurosci 10:37.

    CAS  CrossRef  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Zoltán Sarnyai .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2019 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature

About this protocol

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this protocol

Kraeuter, AK., Guest, P.C., Sarnyai, Z. (2019). The Nest Building Test in Mice for Assessment of General Well-Being. In: Guest, P. (eds) Pre-Clinical Models. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 1916. Humana Press, New York, NY.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Humana Press, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4939-8993-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4939-8994-2

  • eBook Packages: Springer Protocols