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ANY-maze interfaces

The ANY-maze interfaces are specifically designed to connect ANY-maze to a broad range of equipment typically used in behavioural tests.

There are currently eight devices in the range, including one specifically designed to control opto-genetic lasers and another designed to interface to the 28 volt signals used by Med Associates’ popular operant conditioning chambers.

ANY-maze interfaces picture

Sensing things

ANY-maze supports a wide range of inputs which can be used to:

  • Detect lever presses, switch closures, nose-pokes, photo-beam breaks, rears, etc.
  • Read data from ECG monitors, blood pressure sensors, gas analysers, temperature-, light-, weight- and humidity-sensors, etc.
  • Record data from running wheels, including direction, speed, distance run, etc.
Sensing things picture

Control devices

ANY-maze can also control output devices such as:

  • Lights, motors (perhaps to open and close doors), fans, etc.
  • Optogenetic lasers – including control of frequency, duty cycle and intensity
  • Pellet dispensers, liquid dippers, etc.
  • Shockers – including control of shock intensity
  • Speakers – to play cue tones, white noise or any sound file
  • Syringe pumps – including control of direction, flow rate and volume
Control devices picture

Putting it all together

ANY-maze procedures provide a simple but powerful way to control what’s happening during a test.

Using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, you can build procedures to detect when particular situations occur and to take some action because of them.

This might be, for example, that if the animal presses a lever when a light is on then it should be rewarded with a pellet, otherwise a foot shock should be administered – as shown on the right.

Putting it all together picture

Input/Output only mode

In many operant conditioning experiments there’s no need to track the animal’s movements within the apparatus, as the only relevant interactions are through input devices, such a levers or nose-poke holes.

ANY-maze fully supports this type of experiment and we even supply a purpose built interface, which allows ANY-maze to easily control a range of popular operant conditioning equipment. We also offer a low cost I/O only licence, if this is all you want to do with the system.

Input/Output only mode picture

Device specific features

On/off inputs

  • Detect switch closures such as a lever press
  • Detect photo-beam breaks, such as nose-pokes
  • Detect touches, such as licks at a water bottle spout
  • Detect the state of TTL inputs from other equipment


  • Detect nose pokes
  • Detect movements between parts of the apparatus
  • Use arrays of beams to detect rearing
  • Use arrays of beams to detect general activity

Rotary encoders

  • Detect rotations of a running wheel
  • Detect rotations of a tethered animal
  • Determine number of rotations, degrees rotated, rpm and distance travelled

Signal inputs

  • Read analogue signals from equipment such as ECG monitors, blood pressure sensors or gas analysers
  • 12-bit resolution
  • Sample at rates from 1 to 1000 samples per second
  • Filter signals using high-pass, low-pass, band-pass or averaging filters


  • Read weight sensors, for example to track food or liquid intake
  • Read light sensors, for example to record the light levels in the apparatus before the start of a test
  • Read temperature and humidity sensors, for example to monitor the ambient conditions in the apparatus
  • Use the ANY-maze watchdog to alert you (via SMS) when a sensor goes outside preset limits


  • Specific feature for synchronising ANY-maze with other equipment, such as electrophysiology or fiber photometry systems
  • Generate TTL pulses at specific times, such as when a test starts or when the animal's position is determined

Switch outputs

  • Switch almost anything on and off
  • Switch lights on and off
  • Open and close doors
  • Retract and extend levers


  • Play any frequency of tone
  • Play white noise
  • Play any sound file, once or repeatedly
  • Control speaker volume


  • Precisely control shock duration
  • Control shock intensity

Food/drink dispensing

  • Dispense pellets
  • Detects and reports errors such as failed dispense, out of pellets, etc.
  • Control liquid dippers or liquid drippers

Optogenetic lasers

  • Set laser frequency
  • Set duty cycle (how long the laser is on during each pulse)
  • Control laser intensity
  • Play ‘pulse files’ that define any sequence of pulses

Syringe pumps

  • Support for over 20 pumps from manufacturers including Harvard Apparatus, KD Scientific, New Era and Stoelting
  • Built in support for over 120 predefined syringes
  • Manually define characteristics for unlisted syringes
  • Set flow rate
  • Set flow direction
  • Set target volume
  • Reports volume actually infused or withdrawn
  • Detects and reports pump stalls

Temperature controllers

  • Heat or cool devices
  • Prevent test start until device is at set temperature
  • Ramp temperature at a specific rate

Lighting controllers

  • Control light levels
  • Switch lights on or off immediately, or ramp over at a specific rate

Odour delivery

  • Choose from multiple odours or no odour
  • Control air flow

General Input/Output features

  • Set output state before a test
  • Activate outputs at any point during a test, for example dispense a pellet, play a tone or administer a shock
  • Adjust outputs at any point during a test, for example, alter a speaker's volume or reduce a shock's intensity
  • Read inputs continuously during a test
  • Respond to inputs, e.g. take an action when a lever is pressed
  • Determine a wide range of measures for each input and output