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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.

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Object exploration

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.

Object exploration picture

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.

Excluding time on the object picture

Moveable objects

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.

Moveable objects picture