General Activity and Anxiety-like Behaviour

Open Field Locomotor Boxes

Open Field locomotor boxes assess general activity levels and exploratory behavior in mice. Subjects are placed in a square arena (20 cm x 20 cm, or 40 cm x 40 cm) and activity is recorded by infra-red photo beams along x, y, z axes. Tinted inserts allow the arena to divided into light and dark areas. Records of time spent in motion/at rest, total distance traveled, rearing on hind limbs, thigmotaxia can be used to quantitate anxiety related behavior or hyper-/hypo- activity in treated vs. control mice.
Deacon R. Housing, husbandry and handling of rodents for behavioral experiments. Nat Protoc. 1, 936 - 946 (2006) published online: 3 August 2006 | doi:10.1038/nprot.2006.120

Elevated Plus Maze, EPM (or Elevated “+” maze)

The EPM is used in rodent models of anxiety-related behavior, for example in testing the anxiolytic or anxiogenic effects of an experimental intervention. The maze is a “+” shaped apparatus with 2 open arms opposite each other and perpendicular to 2 closed arms with raised opaque walls. The subject explores the maze while video is recorded from above. Number of entries into each arm, time spent in each arm, time spent immobile and total distance travelled are some of the relevant data collected.