Automation of the fear conditioning test requires accurate detection of freezing episodes and flexible and intuitive control of the shocker and cues
ANY-maze has these requirements covered. Freezing detection is sensitive and robust, while procedures provide a simple but powerful mechansim for controlling equipment - you'll find all the details on the Benefits tab below.
On the other tabs you'll find some videos of fear conditioning tests, as well as details of recommended equipment and a list of results that are especially useful in this test.
Sensitive scoring of freezing episodes
ANY-maze detects freezing by looking for changes in the video images which are caused by something other than image ‘noise’.
Image noise is that flickering of dots which gets worse in low light, and the fact that ANY-maze ignores it, means it can detect freezing even in quite noisy images. This is important as fear conditioning tests are quite often performed in low light or darkness.
Watch the video on the right to see freezing detection in action.
ANY-maze can directly control fear conditioning equipment
Fear conditioning typically uses foot shocks as an aversive stimulus and by using the ANY‑maze Relay interface (pictured here), ANY-maze is able to control most shockers available today.
Furthermore, the ANY‑maze Audio interface provides six sound channels, which can be used to generate cue tones. It can also control lights to create visual cues.
Defining fear conditioning protocols
ANY-maze procedures provide an straightforward, yet powerful, way to define fear conditioning protocols.
Procedures use a simple drag-and-drop interface to build up a series of commands. For example, the procedure on the right will repeat the following sequence 10 times: Wait 30 seconds, play a tone, wait 5 seconds, apply a shock. (The duration of the tone and of the shock are set elsewhere).
Running multiple tests simultaneously
Running multiple tests simultaneously is a great way to speed up the throughput in an experiment.
- Setting up multiple cages is hardly any more work than setting up one, as most settings are automatically applied across all the apparatus.
- Tests in all the apparatus can be run independently, or you can control them together if you prefer.
ANY-maze can provide literally hundreds of results for any test, but some of those that are commonly used in Fear Conditioning include:
- Total freezing episodes
- Total time freezing
- Latency to start of first freezing episode
- Latency times between stimuli and freezing events
Our complete Fear Conditioning system includes everything required to run contextual or acoustically-cued fear conditioning experiments. The system consists of a sound attenuating chamber containing a camera, lights, speaker, fan and a cage with a shock floor.View more
ANY‑maze Audio interface
The ANY‑maze Audio interface has six outputs each of which can independently play white noise, tones or a sound file to generate audible cues.View more
The ANY‑maze speaker connects directly to the ANY‑maze Audio interface and can be used to create audible cues for the animals.View more
ANY‑maze Digital interface
The ANY‑maze Digital interface can be directly connected to ANY‑maze cue lights to create visual cues for the animals.View more
ANY‑maze Cue lights
The ANY‑maze Cue lights are perfect for providing visible cues to animals. They're available in a variety of colours and sizesView more
When paired with the ANY‑maze shocker, ANY‑maze is able to directly control the onset, duration and intensity of shocks. The shocker simply connects to the PC via USB.View more
ANY‑maze Relay interface
The ANY‑maze Relay interface is able to control most most commonly available shockers. (Not required if you use the ANY‑maze shocker, which connects directly to a USB port).View more
The ANY-maze USB camera is compact enough to fit inside most sound attenuating chambers and can be fitted with a varifocal (zoom) lens so you can zoom in and out until the cage nicely fits the camera's view.View more
An infrared illuminator allows you to perform tests in very low light or even complete darkness. This requires an infrared sensitive camera, but most cameras, including the ANY-maze USB camera are IR sensitive.View more
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