Biomol Ther.  2019 Jul;27(4):349-356. 10.4062/biomolther.2018.210.

Comparative Behavioral Correlation of High and Low-Performing Mice in the Forced Swim Test

  • 1Department of Neuroscience, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea.,
  • 2Center for Neuroscience, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul 02792, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea.


Behavioral analysis in mice provided important contributions in helping understand and treat numerous neurobehavioral and neuropsychiatric disorders. The behavioral performance of animals and humans is widely different among individuals but the neurobehavioral mechanism of the innate difference is seldom investigated. Many neurologic conditions share comorbid symptoms that may have common pathophysiology and therapeutic strategy. The forced swim test (FST) has been commonly used to evaluate the "antidepressant" properties of drugs yet the individual difference analysis of this test was left scantly investigated along with the possible connection among other behavioral domains. This study conducted an FST-screening in outbred CD-1 male mice and segregated them into three groups: high performers (HP) or the active swimmers, middle performers (MP), and low performers (LP) or floaters. After which, a series of behavioral experiments were performed to measure their behavioral responses in the open field, elevated plus maze, Y maze, three-chamber social assay, novel object recognition, delay discounting task, and cliff avoidance reaction. The behavioral tests battery revealed that the three groups displayed seemingly correlated differences in locomotor activity and novel object recognition but not in other behaviors. This study suggests that the HP group in FST has higher locomotor activity and novelty-seeking tendencies compared to the other groups. These results may have important implications in creating behavior database in animal models that could be used for predicting interconnections of various behavioral domains, which eventually helps to understand the neurobiological mechanism controlling the behaviors in individual subjects.


Forced swim test; Immobility; Locomotor activity; Object exploration; Novelty-seeking

MeSH Terms

Behavior Rating Scale
Delay Discounting
Models, Animal
Motor Activity
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