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Table 1 Available and helpful sensorimotor tests assessing longitudinal and long-term functional recovery.

From: On the importance of long-term functional assessment after stroke to improve translation from bench to bedside

  Behavioral test Brief description Time points Advantages Concerns
SENSORI-MOTOR FUNCTIONS Neurological scales Neurological score for 4 to 6 items (ranking from normal motor function: spontaneous walk initiation, circling behavior; to normal posture at rest: limb slipping arms, head tilting, hand crossing the chest; or when lifted by the tail for rodents only: flexion of torso and controlateral forelimb, decreased of controlateral forelimb grip). Few days to a week[33] * Inter-species comparisons: non-human primate and rodents (mouse, rat, gerbil)
* Useful to access the acute phase of cerebral ischemia
* Requires animal contention
* Highly variable from a lab to another according to the number of evaluation criteria included and to the procedure which is highly experimenter-dependant
  Limb placing test Sensorimotor and proprioceptive abilities: sensorimotor responses of fore- and hindlimbs to tactile, visual, and proprioceptive stimuli. Till 2 - 3 weeks[34]   
  Cylinder test Limb-use asymmetry: preference for using the non-impaired forelimb for weight shifting movement. Animal is placed in a cylinder and limb use asymmetry is observed during rearing with support. Few weeks[35, 36] * Easy to perform
* No need of animal contention
* Cannot be done in the acute phase, since it needs a certain level of recovery
  Grip strength test Muscular strength: forelimb muscular strength with a Newton meter attached to a triangular steel wire grasped by the animal. Few weeks to a month[37] * Quantitatively measured by a Newton meter * Specific apparatus required
  Beam walking test Locomotor function: evaluation of forelimb and hindlimb faults while traversing along a ledged tapered beam. Few weeks[38, 39] * Easy to perform
* No need of expensive materials
* Cannot be done until postural bias and circling behaviors have not disappeared
  Rotarod test
(constant or accelerated)
Balance and motor coordination: measure of latency to fall off a rotating rod (speed of rotation can be constant or increasing) weeks[40, 41] * Easy to perform
* Quantitative measures
* Cost of apparatus
* May require a training session
  Adhesive removal test Somatosensory and motor function: measure of the requested time to sense and to remove the adhesives placed on the animal's body (forelimb, hindlimb or snout).
Of note, performance at this task has been shown to be strictly independent of postural bias and circling behaviors
From weeks[22] to months[42, 43] * Inter-species comparisons: non-human primate and rodents (mouse, rat, gerbil) * May require a training session
* Requires animal contention
  Reach to grasp test/Skilled reaching test/staircase test Forelimb ability and dexterity: measure of the ability to reach food pellets From weeks[44, 45] to months[43] * Inter-species comparisons: non-human primate and rodents (mice, rat)
* independent forelimb reaching ability
* Requires a food restriction
* Time-consuming
* May require a training session
MNESIC FUNCTIONS Morris water maze Spatial memory task: Measure of the required distance and time, to get to a escape platform, hidden under the surface of the water in a circular pool tank weeks[46] * Highly develop since 80's, numerous protocols existing that can fit all request * Require a training session for the learning phase and a retention phase
* Require a dedicated room to lodge the pool
* Require a software for the tracking of the animal
  Passive avoidance Fear-motivated task: animal learns to refrain from stepping through a door to an apparently safer but previously punished dark compartment From days[47] to weeks[46] * One-trial task with no need to learn a rule * Require electrical foot shock that may interfere with other behavioral test
  Object recognition test Non-spatial memory task: Measure of spontaneous tendency of rodents to spend more time exploring a novel object than a familiar one. weeks[48] * One-trial task with no need to learn a rule  
EMOTIONAL-TRAIT Elevated plus maze Anxiety-related behaviour: measure of the time spent in anxiogenous (open) vs safe (close) arms of a labyrinth Few months[27] * Easy to perform
* Inter-species comparison (mouse, rat)
* Cannot be done until postural bias and circling behaviors have not disappeared
  Black & white box Anxiety-related behaviour: measure of the preference to stay in a dark vs illuminated compartment of a double-box    
  1. Time points when behavioral tests can discern sham-operated from stroked animals are given as an indication for a typical 30-50% lesion size.