In the neurosciences, animal models play a central role for experimentally investigating neurobehavioral (dys)functions and their underlying (patho)physiological mechanisms and processes. Almost always, when using animal models, one implicitly assumes that they simulate these mechanisms and processes in humans or a species other than the one investigated. These animal models thus focus on the homology/analogy of the behavior and underlying substrates with the final aim to learn about these behaviors and substrates in the species to be modeled. When developing a model or when selecting the most appropriate animal model for a research project, the most important selection criterion is its validity. Validity is the extent to which an animal model’s underlying substrates and mechanisms, measurements, and the conclusions drawn from these measurements are well-grounded and represent the real world accurately.
The basic classes of validity, i.e., internal and external validity...
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