The Open Field Test for Measuring Locomotor Activity and Anxiety-Like Behavior

Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1916:99-103. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8994-2_9.


The open field test is used in studies of the neurobiological basis of anxiety and screening for novel drug targets and anxiolytic compounds. This test uses a camera to measure movement of the test animal in the peripheral and central zones of a 42 × 42 × 42 cm polyvinyl chloride box. This chapter describes a protocol for carrying out the open-field test for assessment of locomotion and anxiety-like behavior in mice.

Keywords: Anxiety; Behavior; Locomotion; Open-filed; Psychiatric disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anxiety Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Anxiety Disorders / physiopathology
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Maze Learning / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Motor Activity / physiology


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents