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PI Lecture with Lars Lewejohann, “What’s on a mouse’s mind? Behavioral measures to understand experiences and needs of an animal”
Lars Lewejohann, Freie Universität Berlin, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), German Centre for the Protection of Laboratory Animals (Bf3R)
Mice, like all other living creatures, have adapted to specific living conditions in the course of evolution. From a human point of view, the behavior of animals is therefore not always easy to understand. This applies not only to the question of whether mice are actually capable of behaving intelligently, but also to the question of what is necessary for optimizing animal welfare of laboratory animals. In our work, we are interested in both questions and follow an animal-centered approach and are giving mice their say. Of course mice cannot fill out questionnaires, but we have developed a series of behavioral tests that allow to query the animals. In this lecture I will outline our approach with regard to improving housing and living conditions as well as the implications of using mice as a model species for the science of intelligence.