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ANY-maze

Behavioural tracking software

   
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Applications  >  Elevated plus-maze

The key to automating the elevated plus-maze is to detect zone entries and exits with precision

ANY-maze’s whole body tracking provides this feature, which together with flexible results analysis, make ANY-maze an ideal system for plus-maze work - see the Benefits tab, below, to learn more.
On the other tabs you'll find some videos of real plus-maze tests, as well as details of recommended equipment and a list of results that are especially useful in this test.

Benefits Useful results Videos Recommended equipment Publications

Precision tracking

ANY-maze's whole body tracking allows you to specify precisely when an arm entry should be scored.
For example, specifying an open-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 on the left to see this in action.

 

What to do about the centre zone?

Exactly how entries into the centre zone of the plus-maze should be scored is a source of some controversy. ANY-maze doesn’t force you to score entries in any particular way - rather it allows you to define exactly when the system should consider the animal is the centre.

 

Flexible results

Another area where opinions differ about the plus-maze test is precisely how to calculate the percentage of time in the open (or closed) arms.
Some researchers choose to include the time in the centre in this calculation, while others ignore the centre.
In ANY-maze, you can define this measure in whatever way you prefer (the image on the right shows one way to calculate it), and if you change your mind ANY-maze will immediately re-calculate the results accordingly.

 

Getting more from your data

In ANY-maze you can alter the definition of your zones (or indeed almost anything else) at any time, whether before, during or after you’ve run your tests.
For example, some researchers report the amount of time the animal spends on the ends of the open arms. If you ran a plus-maze experiment without including this zone, you could simply add it afterwards.

 

Viewing the animal's track

ANY-maze can plot the animal's track as a simple line (as shown on the left) or as a heat map (shown on the right).
Heat maps, which indicate how much time the animal spent in different parts of the apparatus, can either show data for individual tests (as here) or averaged data for different groups.
In this example, we can see that the animal spent most time at the exit of the closed arms.