Novel Object Recognition (NOR) is a popular and relatively simple behavioural assay of memory. Vital to NOR automation is tracking the animal’s head.
ANY‑maze not only tracks the position of the animal's head, but it also determines the animal's orientation, allowing you to distinguish when an animal is interacting with objects from when it is merely in close proximity to them. See the Benefits tab, below, to learn more.
On the other tabs you'll find videos of NOR in action, recommended equipment and a list of results that are especially useful in this test.
ANY‑maze includes Investigation zones designed specifically for tests like Novel object recognition.
To determine when an animal is exploring an object you simply draw a zone tightly around the object and specify how close to it the animal’s head must be – the dotted line in the image.
This simple approach can be improved by optionally specifying that exploration is only occurring when the animal’s head is in within this distance of the zone and it is oriented towards the centre of the zone – the flashlight-like shading in the image shows the animal’s orientation.
Excluding time on the object
In some cases animals can climb onto an object and some investigators prefer to exclude this from object exploration.
This can be achieved in ANY‑maze, simply by specifying that exploration is should exclude any time that the animal’s centre is within the investigation zone, i.e. the object.
It is common to move the location of the novel object so it is not in the same place for all animals. In ANY‑maze it’s easy to setup moveable zones, that can adopt different positions in different tests. You can even create relationships between moveable zones – for example, by specifying that the novel object zone is on the left in a specific test, the system will automatically know that the known object must be on the right.
ANY‑maze can provide literally hundreds of results for any test, but some of those that are particularly useful in the Novel Object Recognition test include:
- Total time exploring the novel object
- Total time exploring the known object
- Percentage of time exploring the novel object
- Percentage of time exploring the known object
- Discrimination index
- Recognition (preference) index
- Distance travelled
Novel object recognition
We manufacture our own novel object recognition test arenas , which are available for rat or mouse (the mouse version is pictured on the right). Transparent or opaque walls fit solidly into a slotted, grey, non-reflective base-plate, but lift off for easy cleaning. Objects of various shapes and colours are also available.View more
The ANY‑maze USB camera is an excellent choice for the novel object recognition test. We recommend fitting this camera with a varifocal (zoom) lens, so you can simply mount the camera on the ceiling and then zoom in and out until the maze nicely fits the camera's view.View more
A webcam provides an inexpensive alternative to the ANY‑maze camera. If you intend to test in normal lighting conditions (>= 100 lux) and you can mount the camera far enough from the open field for it to see it all, then a webcam should work well. Another potential issue is the cable length; most webcams have quite short cables.
The ANY‑maze photobeam array provides a ‘curtain’ of photobeams which can be used to detect when an animal rears. The array plugs directly into the ANY‑maze Digital interface.
The array is available both 'standalone' and as part of the ANY-box system, which includes mounting columns, and a camera.
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