Morris water maze
A very popular test for spatial learning and memory is the Morris water maze task. The water maze consists of a pool, with a hidden platform submerged just below the water surface. During the Morris water maze test, the rat or mouse learns to escape from the water by locating a hidden platform with the help of visual cues. Optionally, the platform is removed in a second phase of the experiment, or placed in another quadrant, to investigate the animal’s response to this new situation or to measure extinction.
What you need
Noldus offers you the perfect tools for this test. First of all, EthoVision XT will track the behavior, activity, and movement of your animals in high detail. With the included experiment templates, you will get your experiment up and running quickly. Of course, we can provide you with a complete solution, including a water maze and other equipment you might need.
In a Morris water maze test, you are interested in where the animal swims relative to the platform. You want to define the four quadrants, the platform, and maybe even Wishaw’s corridor. EthoVision XT has intuitive drawing tools to define these zones in your video image. Variables measured, such as location, but also velocity and distances, are automatically linked to these zones.
Automating your research provides a number of great benefits; it increases efficiency and helps you to standardize your experiment, resulting in more reliable data. You can program EthoVision XT to automatically start and stop the tracking of your animal, saving you the hassle of doing it manually. For example, start tracking as soon as the animal is detected in the starting quadrant and stop tracking after it has reached the Atlantis platform.
Examples of parameters
- The average distance to the platform (Gallagher’s proximity)
- Correctness of swim path (Whishaw’s error)
- Total time spent in specific quadrant
- Velocity of movement (sometimes used to measure motivation)
- Direction of movement relative to the platform (heading)
>> Find our more about EthoVision XT tracking software
>> Find out more about water maze equipment
>> Read more about The Morris water maze on our Noldus blog
>> Download the free Morris water maze white paper
>> Find a list of selected publications