Reward Systems

Reward systems find a major application in neurophysiological and behavioral experiments performed on research animals. They are generally developed for behavioral neurophysiological experiments. Their basic purpose is to deliver rewards to experimental subjects performing specific operant task.

One of the best ways to keep your test subjects’ attention is positive reinforcement. This can be done with water of food depending on the protocol at hand. Liquid or food rewards may require water or food deprivation prior to the test to keep the test subject working on task at hand. Before any food or water deprivation please consult your Animal care and use committee for recommendations and procedures.

Available systems use gravity or pressure to deliver fluids or pellets. The Basic reward systems are made of 3 units. They have a mouthpiece (sipper tube) or pellet receptacle, control unit, and reward dispenser. The Mouthpiece is the devise where the animal receives the liquid reward or pellet fall into a tray. The Controller determines the timing of the media delivered. The dispenser holds the liquid (or Pellet) and solenoid that is controlled by the controller


5-RLD-D1 Dynamic Automated Reward Integration System (D.A.R.I.S. ™)


    extends your capabilities. These systems are now being designed with micro-controllers for achieving computer control and for monitoring and recording the reward history. Flexible, programmed and precise reward delivery enables new opportunities for conducting neurophysiological investigations into reward-related systems in the brain and for other behavioral applications involving precise control over the volume, timing, and type of primary reinforcement. This system has a new sophisticated controller that maximizes the flexibility and ease of operation

Special Features:

  • Four Channel Controller. Up to four different dispensers may be connected and operated independently.
  • All setup is via the LCD display and touch panel. There are no switches or knobs to “fiddle”.
  • Each channel is independent with its own sensor and external inputs.
  • Channels 1 -> 3 may be controlled by one of the three buttons on the remote Keyfob.
  • The Sensor Input connects to our family of smart sensors via a 6 conductor phone cable.
  • The external input is a BNC connector. This may be used for mechanical switches and buttons, or electronic inputs. There is a de-bounce device to prevent false triggers from mechanical switches. This may be by-passed for electronic inputs. The Input also has a polarity selection to allow triggers to be active high or low.
  • Sophisticated controller to maximize the flexibility and ease of operation of the entire reward system.
  • Suitable for experiments that require control of all three features: quantity, timing, and preference.
  • The new controller acts as a universal controller for all 4 kinds of dispenser units: liquid, pressure / slurry, pellet dispensers and puff.
  • The new controller may be used with several different Reward Trigger Sources: Existing Touch Panel units (4-TPS), and our new Sensor Interface Family.
  • Greater control of rewards and capability to produce patterns of rewards compared to older versions.
  • Improved Reliability due to the new methods of assembly of panels and PCB.
  • Crystal controlled 64K flash microcontroller with improved timings.
  • No Voltage selection required.
  • Comes with a user-friendly GUI interface (programmed in C-builder), which can monitor, and control the reward controller. This GUI interface may also controls rewards based on delivery volume. For the pressure / slurry dispenser, computer-control of reward volumes can be achieved and total volume of reward dispensed can be monitored based on the calibration tables saved for the reward fluid.
  • Comes with Wireless RF remote control keyfob. The remote is a key chain (keyfob) unit that activates a manual reward for the animal and is uniquely coded for every reward module. The remote requires no license.
  • In conjunction with our new Digital Pressure / Slurry Dispenser, the Controller sets the air pressure in the pressure reservoir and the slurry stirrer speed.
  • In conjunction with our new Rotary Pellet Dispenser, the Controller selects the number of pellets to be dispensed per reward and the configuration of the dispenser.
  • Solenoid timings for liquid rewards can be controlled between .1ms -> 5secs in .1ms increments.
  • Computer Override may use any device that switches the Input to ground. Due to any reason, if the override signal does not turn off and the subject receives a reward for over 30 seconds, the controller turns off the reward and sends an error message to the PC.
  • A modular phone jack provides input accommodation for our new self-powered Sensor Family and other (future) sensors.
  • The Dispenser, Sensor and Compressor supply voltages are protected by a thermal, auto reset, “Polyfuse”.
  • Selectable Automatic update to PC on reward or configuration change.
  • Easy Interface to PC via RS-232 or USB.



  • 5-RLD-00MR-1 MRI Compatible sipper tube
  • 5-RLD-00MR-B Mounting Block
  • 5-RPD-D Pressure dispenser
  • 5-PDR-E2 Pellet dispenser
  • Touch Panel

5-RRC-E0D-25 Remote Control with 25 foot cable
Control Switch that works with the older style 5-RLD-E serries reward systems to deliver manual rewards.

*5-RLD-00A Mouthpiece (Sipper Tube) *5-RLD-00A
The specially designed side air vent prevents subject from sucking out reward from the tube when no reward is given




5-RLD-00MR-1 MRI compatible sipper tube5-RLD-00MR
All plastic sipper tube to deliver liquid rewards. with side air vents to prevent reward from being sucked from the mouth piece when no reward is given.