Animal models play a central role in all areas of biomedical research. The process of animal model building, development and evaluation has rarely been addressed systematically, despite the long history of using animal models in the investigation of neuropsychiatric disorders and behavioral dysfunctions. An iterative, multi-stage trajectory for developing animal models and assessing their quality is proposed. The process starts with defining the purpose(s) of the model, preferentially based on hypotheses about brain-behavior relationships. Then, the model is developed and tested. The evaluation of the model takes scientific and ethical criteria into consideration
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