Automation of the Y-maze requires accurate detection of arm entries and often involves analysis of the sequence of movements between the arms
ANY-maze provides both these features. Whole body tracking ensures arm entries are scored in a way analogous to the traditional four-paws-in-the-arm rule, while sequences provide a mechanism to automatically score such things as spontaneous alternations. Full details can be found on the Benefits tab, below.
On the other tabs you'll find videos of Y-maze tests, recommended equipment and a list of results that are especially useful in this test.
Accurate scoring of arm entries
A key element of tests in the Y-maze is analysis of the sequence of movements between the arms. But if arm entries aren’t scored accurately then any such analysis will clearly be incorrect.
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.
Scoring movements between arms
ANY-maze includes the ability to define sequences, which as the name implies, detect sequences of movements between different parts of the maze.
In the Y-maze, sequences, together with calculations, can be used to automatically score behaviours such as spontaneous alternations.
Flexible zone designs
In some Y-maze paradigms, the animals are denied access to one of the arms during their first exposure to the maze and then allowed access to this ‘novel’ arm during a subsequent test.
It’s common to balance the arm that is blocked between treatment groups, so for some animals it will be on the left, while for others it will be on the right. This video shows how easy it is to set up zones like this in ANY-maze.
Viewing the animal's track
ANY-maze can plot the animal’s track as a line or as a heat map.
Heat maps indicate how much time the animal spent in different parts of the apparatus and can either show data for individual tests (as shown here) or averaged data for different groups.
In this example, we can see that the animal spent most time at the end of the start arm and in the centre of the maze.
ANY-maze can provide literally hundreds of results for any test, but some of those that are commonly used in the Y-maze include:
- Time in each of the arms
- Number of entries into each of the arms
- Sequential list of arm entries
- Spontaneous alternations
- Total distance travelled
Tracking a white mouse on sawdust
In this example a white mouse with a small black skull cap is tracked in maze in which the arms are filled with sawdust.
There’s not much contrast between the mouse and the sawdust, but this doesn’t prevent ANY-maze from accurately tracking the whole body of the animal and correctly scoring arm entries, even when the animal rears in the central area.
We manufacture our own Y-mazes, both for Rat and Mouse. The non-reflective solid metal base plate is painted grey to provide good contrast with almost any animal and the walls simply lift off for easy cleaning.View more
The ANY-maze USB camera is an excellent choice for the Y-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 Y-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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