Para experimentos de condicionamiento al miedo (Fear conditioning) y reflejo de sobresalto (Startle reflex)

Puntos clave
Como pedirlo


The StartFear Combined system is a polyvalent system for conducting both fear conditioning and startle reflex experiments in one same enclosure, regardless the animal is a rat or a mouse (from 15grs to 300 grs. or more depending on the use or not of a restrainer).

Basically, the StartFear system allows recording and analysis of the signal generated by the animal movement through a high sensitivity Weight Transducer system.

The analogical signal is transmitted to the FREEZING and STARTLE software modules through the load cell unit for recording purposes and posterior analysis in terms of activity/immobility (FREEZING) or startle response characterization (STARTLE).

An additional interface associated with corresponding hardware allows controlling the stimuli (light, sounds, shock, air puff) from the STARTLE and FREEZING modules of the PACKWIN software (PACKWINCSST and PACKWINCSFR, respectively).

The StartFear cage is made with black methacrylate walls and a transparent front door. In fear conditioning experiment, the walls, cover and floor can be of different materials or colours. Moreover, a transparent cylinder can be placed into the experimental chamber in order to modify the contextual spatial perception of the subject during the test phase.



Chamber a& Control Units

Chamber Dimensions

250 (W) x 250 (D) x 250 (H) mm

Sound Attenuating Box Dimensions

670 (W) x 530 (D) x 550 (H) mm

Floor grid

Included grid : 10 mm spaced bars, LE100501/760240 grid: 6 mm spaced bars

Material Composition

Methacrylate, aluminium, stainless steel

Maximum number of stations

8 stations connected to a PC*

Sensors sensitivity

From 10 mg to 2 kg

Sounds Frequency and Amplitude

PrePulse/Pulse: adjustable from 200 to 10000 Hz - max 120 dB; White noise: from 60 to 120 dB


CE Compliant

Power Supply

110V/220V, 50/60Hz

Computer requirement

For sound card and performance requirements, a specific model of HP computer is recommended (ask for more information)

*When used for Startle or Fear conditioning applications (PACKWINCSST and PACKWINCSFR), the use of specific models of HP computer is mandatory due to sound card and PC performance requirements.
Contact our technical support team for any confirmation about the current HP model specifications.

Holders size (Only for Startle experiments)



90 (Length) x 30 (Diam.) mm



100 (Length) x 34 (Diam.) mm



150 (Length) x 44 (Diam.) mm



200 (Length) x 64 (Diam.) mm



225 (Length) x 74 (Diam.) mm


  • Sun P et al. (2015) Fear conditioning suppresses large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels in lateral amygdala neurons. Physiol Behav. 2015 Jan;138:279-84. (Fear conditioning, Japan, China)

  • Burman MA et al. (2014) Contextual and auditory fear conditioning continue to emerge during the periweaning period in rats. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 30;9(6):e100807. (fear conditioning, rat, USA)
  • de Carvalho Myskiw J et al. (2014) Extinction learning, which consists of the inhibition of retrieval, can be learned without retrieval. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Dec 30. pii: 201423465. [Epub ahead of print] (Fear conditioning, Brazil)

  • Iulita MF et al. (2014) Intracellular Aβ pathology and early cognitive impairments in a transgenic rat overexpressing human amyloid precursor protein: a multidimensional study. Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2014 Jun 5;2:61. (fear conditioning, rat, Canada)

  • Pascual-Lucas M et al. (2014) Insulin-like growth factor 2 reverses memory and synaptic deficits in APP transgenic mice. EMBO Mol Med. 2014 Aug 6;6(10):1246-62. (fear conditioning, mouse, Spain, USA, France)

  • Lahoud N et al. (2013) Oxytocinergic manipulations in corticolimbic circuit differentially affect fear acquisition and extinction. Psychoneuroendocrinology, Volume 38, Issue 10, October 2013, Pages 2184–2195. (fear conditioning, rat, Israel)
  • LLidó et al. (2013) Interaction between neonatal allopregnanolone administration and early maternal separation: Effects on adolescent and adult behaviors in male rat. Hormones and Behavior 63(4): 577–585. (PPI, rat, Spain)
  • Rogers et al. (2013) Reelin supplementation recovers sensorimotor gating, synaptic plasticity and associative learning deficits in the heterozygous reeler mouse. J Psychopharmacol 27(4):386-395 (PPI, mouse, USA)
  • Santos M et al. (2013) Hippocampal hyperexcitability underlies enhanced fear memories in TgNTRK3, a panic disorder mouse model. J Neurosci. 2013 Sep 18;33(38):15259-71. (Contextual and Trace fear conditioning, mouse, Spain, Germany
  • Uriguën L et al. (2013) Behavioral, neurochemical and morphological changes induced by the overexpression of munc18-1a in brain of mice: relevance to schizophrenia. Translational Psychiatry (2013) 3, e221; (PPI, mouse, Spain)
  • Callaerts-Vegh Z et al. (2012) LPA5 receptor plays a role in pain sensitivity, emotional exploration and reversal learning. Genes, Brain and Behavior. 11(8): 1009–1019. (PPI, mouse, Belgium)
  • Ceccom J et al. (2012) Copper Chelator Induced Efficient Episodic Memory Recovery in a Non-Transgenic Alzheimer's Mouse Model. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43105. (fear conditioning, mouse, France)
  • Darbra S et al. (2012) Allopregnanolone infused into the dorsal (CA1) hippocampus increases prepulse inhibition of startle response in Wistar rats. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 37(4):581-585. (PPI Startle, rat, Spain)
  • Ganon-Elazar E et al. (2012) Cannabinoids Prevent the Development of Behavioral and Endocrine Alterations in a Rat Model of Intense Stress. Neuropsychopharmacology (2012) 37, 456–466. (PPI, rat, Israel)
  • Nunes AF et al. (2012) TUDCA, a Bile Acid, Attenuates Amyloid Precursor Protein Processing and Amyloid-β Deposition in APP/PS1 Mice. Mol. Neurobiol. 45:440-454. (fear conditioning, Startle PPI, mouse, Portugal)
  • Obiang P et al. (2012) GluN2D subunit-containing NMDA receptors control tissue plasminogen activator-mediated spatial memory. J Neurosci. 2012 Sep 12;32(37):12726-34. (fear conditioning, mouse, France)

  • Rolland B et al. (2012) The PPARdf36 Agonist Fenofibrate Reduces Prepulse Inhibition Disruption in a Neurodevelopmental Model of Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research and Treatment. In press (PPI, rat, France)
  • Volle J et al. (2012) Reduced Expression of STOP/MAP6 in Mice Leads to Cognitive Deficits. Schizophrenia Bulletin. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbs113 (PPI, mouse, France)
  • Cuadrado-Tejedor M et al. (2011) Sildenafil restores cognitive function without affecting β-amyloid burden in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Br. J. Pharnacol. 164 (8): 2029-2041. (fear conditioning, mouse, Spain)
  • Marche K et al. (2011) Fetal alcohol-induced hyperactivity is reversed by treatment with the PPARα agonist fenofibrate in a rat model. Psychopharmacology. 214(1):285-296. (PPI, rat, France)
  • Naert A et al. (2011) Nocturnal hyperactivity, increased social novelty preference and delayed extinction of fear responses in post-weaning socially isolated mice. Brain Research Bulletin. 85(6):354-362. (fear conditioning, mouse, Belgium).
  • Rogers JT et al. (2011) CX3CR1 deficiency leads to impairment of hippocampal cognitive function and synaptic plasticity. The Journal of Neuroscience, 9 November 2011, 31(45): 16241-16250. (fear conditioning, mouse, USA)
  • Bisaz R et al. (2010) The role of NCAM in auditory fear conditioning and its modulation by stress: a focus on the amygdala. Genes, Brain and behavior, 9(4):353-364. (fear conditioning, mouse, Switzerland)
  • Darbra S et al. (2010) Alterations in neonatal neurosteroids affect exploration during adolescence and prepulse inhibition in adulthood. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 35(4)525-535. (Startle PPI, rat, Spain)
  • Ricobaraza A et al. (2010) Phenylbutyrate rescues dendritic spine loss associated with memory deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer disease. Hippocampus, 22(5):1040-1050. (fear conditioning, mouse, Spain).
  • Viosca J et al. (2010) Syndromic features and mild cognitive impairment in mice with genetic reduction on p300 activity: Differential contribution of p300 and CBP to Rubinstein–Taybi syndrome etiology. Neurobiology of disease. 37(1):186-194. (fear conditioning, mouse, Spain)
  • Zhuo J-M al. (2010) Normalization of hyperhomocysteinemia improves cognitive deficits and ameliorates brain amyloidosis of a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. The FASEB Journal. 24(10): 3895-3902. (fear conditioning, mouse, USA)
  • Viosca J et al. (2009) Enhanced CREB-dependent gene expression increases the excitability of neurons in the basal amygdala and primes the consolidation of contextual and cued fear memory. Learn Mem. 16(3):198-209. (fear conditioning, mouse, Spain)
  • Viosca J et al. (2009) Germline expression of H-RasG12V causes neurological deficits associated to Costello syndrome. Genes, Brain Behav. 8(1):60-71. (startle ASR, PPI, mouse, Spain)
  • Markram K et al. (2008) Abnormal fear conditioning and amygdala processing in an animal model of autism. Neuropsychopharmacology. 33(4):901-12. (fear conditioning, rat, Switzerland)
  • Ortiz-Abalia J et al. (2008) Targeting Dyrk1A with AAVshRNA attenuates motor alterations in TgDyrk1A, a mouse model of Down syndrome. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 83(4):479-88. (Startle, mouse, Spain)
  • Cordero MI et al. (2007) Stress amplifies memory for social hierarchy. Front. Neurosci. 1(1):175-184 (fear conditioning, rat, Switzerland)
  • Lopez-Fernandez MA et al. (2007) Upregulation of Polysialylated Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule in the Dorsal Hippocampus after Contextual Fear Conditioning Is Involved in Long-Term Memory Formation. The Journal of Neuroscience. 27(17): 4552-4561. (fear conditioning, rat, France, Switzerland)
  • Markram K et al. (2007) Amygdala upregulation of NCAM polysialylation induced by auditory fear conditioning is not required for memory formation, but plays a role in fear extinction. Neurobiology of learning and memory. 87(4): 573-582. (fear conditioning, rat, Switzerland)
  • Poirier R et al. (2007) Paradoxical role of an Egr transcription factor family member, Egr2/Krox20, in learning and memory Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 1(art 6): 1-12. (fear conditioning, mouse, France)
  • Toledo-Rodriguez M et al. (2007) Stress before puberty exerts a sex- and age-related impact on auditory and contextual fear conditioning in the rat. Neural Plasticity, Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 71203, 12 pages. (fear conditioning, rat, Switzerland)
  • Markram K et al. (2006) Selective learning and memory impairments in mice deficient for polysialylated NCAM in adulthood. Neuroscience. 144(3): 788-796. (fear conditioning, mouse, Switzerland).


Como pedirlo

Experimental chamber 



FREEZING AND STARTLE Threshold Sensor including Sound Attenuating Box.



Special electrified grid for very small animals (6 mm bar-spaced)

Control Units 



Load Cell Amplifier (one for each Chamber)



Stimuli Interface Unit (up to 4 chambers)



Stimuli Interface Unit (up to 8 chambers)



Shock generator with scrambler. 0-2 mA output (needed for Fear conditioned test and Fear-potentiated startle reflex. Optional for Prepulse inhibition test - PPI)

Holders (Only for Startle experiments) 



Mouse Holder for Startle Reflex (up to 25 g - Check holder size)*



Mouse Holder for Startle Reflex (up to 35 g - Check holder size)*



Rat Holder for Startle Reflex (up to 150 g - Check holder size)*



Rat Holder for Startle Reflex (up to 150-200 g - Check holder size)*



Rat Holder for Startle Reflex (up to 250-300 g - Check holder size)*



Large Rat - Ceiling Height Reductor for Startle Reflex (>300-350 g)*

* the correspondance between the holder model and animal weight is given as an approximation - check the size of the holder in order to confirm the one needed for your experiments.




Software for controlling up to 8 boxes



PACKWIN experimental module for fear conditioning studies (FREEZING)



PACKWIN experimental module for startle studies (STARTLE)

* Please check the specification tab about the PC models that should be used with this software, especially for startle and fear conditioning experiments.




Air puff Unit (STARTLE)



Contextual kit for Fear Conditioning test (FREEZING)



Sound Meter for Sound Calibration

Puntos clave

  • Combined system for startle/freezing
  • Combined system for rats/mice
  • Weight transducer sensitivity optimized for mice
  • Easily removable tray
  • Different spacial context configurations available for fear conditioning paradigms
  • Accurate and traceable data
  • One same enclosure for both rat and mouse
  • No PCI cards required (USB connection)
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