SCORHE: A novel and practical approach to video monitoring of laboratory mice housed in vivarium cage racks

Ghadi H. Salem, John U. Dennis, Jonathan Krynitsky, Marcial Garmendia-Cedillos, Kanchan Swaroop, James D. Malley, Sinisa Pajevic, Liron Abuhatzira, Michael Bustin, Jean-Pierre Gillet, Michael M. Gottesman, James B. Mitchell, Thomas J. Pohida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The System for Continuous Observation of Rodents in Home-cage Environment (SCORHE) was developed to demonstrate the viability of compact and scalable designs for quantifying activity levels and behavior patterns for mice housed within a commercial ventilated cage rack. The SCORHE in-rack design provides day- and night-time monitoring with the consistency and convenience of the home-cage environment. The dual-video camera custom hardware design makes efficient use of space, does not require home-cage modification, and is animal-facility user-friendly. Given the system's low cost and suitability for use in existing vivariums without modification to the animal husbandry procedures or housing setup, SCORHE opens up the potential for the wider use of automated video monitoring in animal facilities. SCORHE's potential uses include day-to-day health monitoring, as well as advanced behavioral screening and ethology experiments, ranging from the assessment of the short- and long-term effects of experimental cancer treatments to the evaluation of mouse models. When used for phenotyping and animal model studies, SCORHE aims to eliminate the concerns often associated with many mouse-monitoring methods, such as circadian rhythm disruption, acclimation periods, lack of night-time measurements, and short monitoring periods. Custom software integrates two video streams to extract several mouse activity and behavior measures. Studies comparing the activity levels of ABCB5 knockout and HMGN1 overexpresser mice with their respective C57BL parental strains demonstrate SCORHE's efficacy in characterizing the activity profiles for singly- and doubly-housed mice. Another study was conducted to demonstrate the ability of SCORHE to detect a change in activity resulting from administering a sedative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-250
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Home-cage behavior
  • Mouse activity profiling
  • Mouse behavior
  • Video monitoring


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