An original head holder and a training procedure designed for better adaptation of animals to rigid immobilization carried out in experiments in the awake drug-free state without body and limb restraining are described. The head holder can be used autonomously or in combination with a standard stereotaxic apparatus; it provides possibilities for stable recording of brain neuronal activity and delivery of pharmacological drugs. The device may be successfully used in both electrophysiological and behavioral experiments, particularly in studies of sensory perception and eye-head coordination. The proposed head holder and flexible training program provide much weaker immobilization-induced stress-related effects, which preserves normal physiological functions of the animal. The device may be successfully used for different laboratory animal species.
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