The elevated zero maze is very similar to the elevated plus maze, but lacks a center square. This removes any ambiguity in the interpretation of the time spent in there, but also takes away the availability of an often used starting point in the test. Again, the differences in time spent in the open and closed sections are measured.
How it works
EthoVision XT helps you out throughout your experiment, starting with a wizard to help you choose your settings. EthoVision XT includes multiple templates, including those for a zero maze that includes all the basic settings, which you can fine-tune to your needs if necessary. This way your experiment will be up and running quickly!
Behaviors related to areas of interest
In a zero maze test, you are of course interested in how much time the animal spends in the open versus the closed-off sections of the maze. EthoVision XT allows you to specify these zones from the video images of your test arena. Later, variables can be coupled with these zones, giving you the results you need, such as percentage of time spent in open quadrants, latency to first open section entry, etc.
Automatic detection of behaviors
In addition to center-point tracking, EthoVision XT is able to detect and track the nose point and tail base of mice and rats. This allows for the accurate measurement of animal position, enabling you to discriminate between the animal only poking its nose around the corner or moving its entire body into one of the open sections of the zero maze.
It also allows EthoVision XT to automatically detect behaviors such as body elongation – characteristic of the stretch-attend posture that is often considered a response to an environment that incites both fear/anxiousness and curiosity.