Managing your experimental design is crucial to successful automation of the Radial arm maze
ANY-maze is a great way to manage your experiments. Its intuitive design will help to walk you through your experimental plan and setup. This allows you to define each stage, the number of trials associated with it, the criterion for completion of the stage, etc.
This way you’ll always know which of your animals needs to be tested and where each animal is in its progression through a stage.
On the tabs below you'll find videos, recommended equipment and a list of results that are especially useful in the radial arm maze.
ANY-maze’s whole body tracking allows you specify precisely when an arm entry should be scored.
For example, specifying an arm entry as occurring when 80% of the animal’s body is in the arm, equates very well with the traditional four-paws-in-the-arm rule. Watch the video to see this in action.
Keeping track of the specifics (managing stages and trials)
Radial arm maze experiments are usually comprised of a number of different stages (e.g. acquisition, 8-arm trial, 4-arm trial, etc.), with each stage including a number of repeated trials. ANY-maze allows you to specify your experimental design so that it is aware of and manages the different stages and the trials within them. This means that while running the tests, ANY-maze is automatically assessing training criteria to ensure you know which animal to test on which apparatus, for what purpose, stage and trial – as in the image on the right.
Detecting when the test is complete
A common task in the radial arm maze is to require the animal to visit every arm once; when it completes this task the test can end.
ANY-maze’s procedures are perfect for this – for example, the procedure on the right would end the test once the animal has visited all the arms of an 8-arm maze (Note that the order the animal visits the arms won’t actually matter)
ANY-maze will report a wide range of results for every arm in the maze, but in the Radial arm maze, you’re usually interested in results such as Working memory errors and Reference memory errors, which aren’t specific to any one arm.
This is where ANY-maze’s calculations come in useful. Calculations can derive new results from those ANY-maze already has, so for example, Working memory errors can easily be calculated based on the number of entries into each of the arms.
Viewing the animal's track
ANY-maze can plot the animal’s track around the maze which provides a great visual tool for both confirming the arms visited and for contrasting the behaviour of different animals.
ANY-maze can provide literally hundreds of results for any test, but some of those that are commonly used in the Radial arm maze include:
- Test Duration
- Time in each of the arms
- Number of entries into each of the arms
- Sequential list of arm entries
- Spontaneous alternations
- Working memory errors (using a calculation)
- Reference memory errors (using a calculation)
- Total distance travelled
Tracking a Long-Evans rat in a reflective radial arm maze
In this example a Long-Evans rate was tested in a reflective metal 8-arm radial maze.
Despite the bright reflections and the fact that the animal is a non-uniform colour, ANY-maze tracks it well and correctly scores the arm entries in a way analogous to the four-paws-in-the-arm rule.
Tracking a white mouse in a unevenly lit radial arm maze
In this example a white coloured mouse was tested in a unevenly lit 8-arm radial maze, in which the centre is brighter than the arms. ANY-maze still tracks reliably and accurately detects the animal’s entries and exits to the arms using whole body tracking, which as can be seen, approximates well to the four-paws-in-the-arm rule.
We manufacture our own 8- and 12-arm Radial mazes, both for Rat and Mouse. The walls slot into a grey non-reflective base plate and simply lift off for easy cleaning.View more
The ANY-maze USB camera is an excellent choice for the Radial arm maze. 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 is usually a good, and inexpensive, alternative choice for the Radial arm maze. If you intend to test in normal lighting conditions (>= 100 lux) and you can mount the camera far enough from the maze for it to see it all, then a webcam should work well.
If you intend to track in low light (< 10 lux) or in darkness, then you may wish to use an infrared illuminator and an infrared sensitive camera (most cameras are IR sensitive).View more
ANY‑maze Radio remote control
The ANY‑maze Radio remote control provides a convenient way to start the test as soon as the animal is in the maze. This remote works through walls and has 2 buttons, allowing you to control two apparatus independently.View more
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