Easily manage animals and tests
ANY-maze records and manages information both about the animals in an experiment and the tests you perform on them.
- Easily place animals into treatment groups
- Run test blind
- Use your own animal IDs for easier identification
- Record any additional information about animals such as weight, sex, etc.
- Import details of animals or tests from other software
Flexible test schedule
ANY-maze prepares a Test schedule showing all the tests in the experiment, making it easy to see where you’ve got up to and exactly what you’re going to do next.
- Test animals in repeated trials, and group trials into stages
- If you don’t want to test an animal now, you can skip it and come back to it later.
- If you accidentally tested the wrong animal, you can tell ANY-maze and it will automatically reorganise the schedule to ensure all the animals still get the right number of trials.
- You can retire animals from the experiment; they’ll stop being tested but results from their completed trials will still be available.
Performing the tests
Performing tests could hardly be simpler, just place the animal in the apparatus and walk away. In most cases you can use ANY-maze’s auto-start feature which will begin the test automatically as soon as you leave the camera’s view. And if auto-start isn’t suitable for your test you can use the ANY-maze radio remote control or simply click a button or press a key on your keyboard.
ANY-maze will time the test and end it after the correct duration. You can also set up procedures to automatically end the test for other reasons, for example the animal finding the platform in a water-maze.
Get feedback during tests
A wealth of information is available to you while a test is running. This includes information about zone visits, performance of sequences and the status of inputs and outputs.
You can also view charts showing a diverse range of data, such as the speed the animal is moving, or the state of an input (for example, licks at a water bottle spout).
Any errors or warnings are also displayed in real-time; this might include a pellet dispenser that has run-out of pellets, or a syringe pump that has stalled.
Running multiple tests
Running tests in multiple apparatus in parallel can be a great way to increase throughput in large experiments.
- ANY-maze supports up to 40 apparatus in a single experiment.
- The ability to view multiple apparatus with a single camera can be especially useful in this scenario.
- Tests run independently, but you can start, pause or stop them all together if you wish.
Experiment management features
- Group animals into treatment groups
- Use your own animal IDs
- Easily import animals from other software
- Confirm animal identity by reading animal barcodes
- Confirm animal identity by scanning animal micro-chips
- Record animal weights using the ANY-maze animal scales
- Automatically calculate treatment dose based on animal weight
- Record additional information about animals, such as strain or sex
- Easily add, delete or retire animals at any point in an experiment
- Run tests blind, so the tester doesn't know the animals' treatments
- Record free-form notes about animals or tests
Test schedule features
- Break an experiment into up to fifty stages
- Include from 1 to 99 repeated trials in each stage
- Have ANY-maze automatically create a test schedule for you
- Alternatively, manually add animals to the test schedule in any order
- Skip over an animal's test and come back to it later
- Reperform a test
- When manually scoring behaviours, repeatedly watch a video of the same test and score different behaviours each time
- Set rules for when an animal's trials in a stage should end - for example, when a training criteria is met
- Automatically retire an animal from the experiment if it fails to meet some criteria
- Manually end a stage for an animal before it completes all the trials
- Set trials to automatically repeat, for example start a trial every day at 5am
- Run up to forty tests simultaneously
- Auto-start tests simply by leaving the camera's view
- Start tests using a radio remote control, a wired remote control, a keyboard key or a mouse click
- Pause running tests
- End tests after a predefined time
- End tests when something specific happens, for example finding a water-maze platform
- End tests manually
- Easily adjust the apparatus drawing to fit the video picture (invaluable if the apparatus has been moved)
- Mark the animal's centre point, head and/or tail
- Highlight the area ANY-maze considers to be the animal
- Show the animal’s orientation
- Highlight zones the animal is in
- View live information about zones, such as number of entries, time in zone, etc.
- View live information about points, sequences, inputs, outputs, etc.
- View live charts of over 40 parameters, such as animal's speed, distance to a point, etc.
- View live errors and warnings, such as a dispenser that's out of pellets, or a syringe pump stall
- Automatically record videos of all tests
- Automatically label videos when specific things happen, for example, when the animal becomes mobile
- Continue using the system while tests are running, for example, view results of earlier tests