Phobos: A Novel Software for Recording Rodents' Behavior During the Thigmotaxis and the Elevated Plus-Maze Test

Neurosci Lett. 2015 Jul 10;599:81-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2015.05.045. Epub 2015 May 23.


Evaluation of fear and anxiety levels offers valuable insight on the impact of experimental conditions. The elevated plus-maze and the open field (thigmotactic responce) tests are two well-established behavioral procedures for the quantification of anxiety in rodents. In this study, Phobos, a novel, effective and simple application developed for recording rodents' behavior during the elevated plus-maze and the open-field test, is being presented. Phobos is able to generate all basic locomotor-related behavioral results at once, immediately after a simple manual record of the rodent's position, along with simultaneous analysis of the experiment in 5-min periods. The efficiency of Phobos is demonstrated by presenting results from the two behavioral tests showing that animal's behavior unfolds differently in each one. Phobos manages to ease the experimenter from laborious work by providing self-explanatory characteristics and a convenient way to record the behavior of the animal, while it quickly calculates all basic locomotor-related parameters, easing behavioral studies. Phobos is freely accessible at

Keywords: Behavioral test; Elevated plus-maze test; Phobos; Software; Thigmotactism.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Male
  • Maze Learning*
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Motor Activity*
  • Software*