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. 2015 Feb 6;(96):e52434.
doi: 10.3791/52434.

Use of the Open Field Maze to Measure Locomotor and Anxiety-Like Behavior in Mice

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Free PMC article

Use of the Open Field Maze to Measure Locomotor and Anxiety-Like Behavior in Mice

Michael L Seibenhener et al. J Vis Exp. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Animal models have proven to be invaluable to researchers trying to answer questions regarding the mechanisms of behavior. The Open Field Maze is one of the most commonly used platforms to measure behaviors in animal models. It is a fast and relatively easy test that provides a variety of behavioral information ranging from general ambulatory ability to data regarding the emotionality of the subject animal. As it relates to rodent models, the procedure allows the study of different strains of mice or rats both laboratory bred and wild-captured. The technique also readily lends itself to the investigation of different pharmacological compounds for anxiolytic or anxiogenic effects. Here, a protocol for use of the open field maze to describe mouse behaviors is detailed and a simple analysis of general locomotor ability and anxiety-related emotional behaviors between two strains of C57BL/6 mice is performed. Briefly, using the described protocol we show Wild Type mice exhibited significantly less anxiety related behaviors than did age-matched Knock Out mice while both strains exhibited similar ambulatory ability.

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