Neff, E. P. 2018. Home sweet home cage. Lab Animal 47(10), 261–264.

This feature describes creative ways in which technology can be used to study animals within their home cages, eliminating the need to handle, restrain, and separate them from cage mates. One example includes voluntary brain imaging in mice. In biomedical science, animals are generally intended to model humans, “and I think it can be important to give animals these meaningful choices and give them control over their environments,” says Ahloy Dallaire, a postdoctoral researcher in Joseph Garner’s lab at Stanford “because we, humans, are making meaningful choices all the time.” We have agency, he says, in the way we live our lives, the environment in which we do so, and “even as to whether or not we choose to become participants in health research. So I think giving them the same kind of control in their housing environment and in the studies themselves can be a way of making them a better model of the humans they are meant to represent”.

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