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Animal Research and Computational Neuroscience

Experimental data are still essential in order to gain insights into the basic funtionality of the nervous system of both animals and humans. The acquistion of such basic data is necessary to  challenge hypotheses and to safely test medical or technological applications before they can be used for humans.

The scientists of the Bernstein Network are firmly committed to the 3R principles ("refine, reduce, and replace"). All research is designed such that animal experiments get refined, the number of experiments and animals used is reduced, and, wherever possible, animal experiments are replaced by alternative metods.

General Information on Animal Research in Science

  • Animal Research at the German Primate Center
    >> Website

Animal Rights in Europe

    of  22  September  2010 on  the  protection  of  animals  used  for  scientific  purpose

     >> Read here

Position Papers of Scientific Institutions

  • Position of FENS (Federation of European Neuroscience Societies) on the new directive:
    >> Read here
  • Position of ESF-EMRC (Standing Committee of the European Science Foundation) on the new directive:
    >> Read here
  • Joint statement by FENS (Federation of European Neuroscience Societies), JNS (Japanese Neuroscience Society) and SfN (Society for Neuroscience):
    download pdf

Public Debate

The principles of the 3R: replacement, reduction, and refinement

The principles of the 3Rs—replacement, reduction, and refinement—were first articulated over 50 years ago by W.M.S. Russell and R.L. Burch (Russell and Burch, 1959).  Replacement refers to methods that avoid the use of animals either absolutely (e.g., using computer modeling or human volunteers) or relatively (e.g., using invertebrates such as Drosophila and nematodes, or cultured cell lines derived from animals). Reduction occurs when researchers obtain comparable levels of information from fewer animals, often through improved experimental design and technique or statistical analysis. Where the use of animals is unavoidable, refinement refers to improvements to scientific procedures and husbandry that minimize pain or distress and improve welfare.