Novel object recognition is a highly validated test for recognition memory. It can be used to test the efficacy of memory enhancing compounds, the (negative) effects of certain other compounds on memory, or the influence of genetics or age on memory among other things.
The basic idea is straightforward: the rat or mouse is exposed to two or more objects, and gets to explore these for a while. Then, one of the objects is replaced by another object. If the subject's memory is functioning normally, they spend more time exploring this novel object than exploring the familiar object(s). If the exploration of all objects is the same, this behavior can be interpreted as a memory deficit.
A novel object recognition test can be done in any open field or home cage. We offer several open fields in standard sizes, but we can just as easily build an arena according to your specifications. We also offer variations in size, color, wall height, and shape. We also offer options such as detachable walls and partitions, and IR backlight. All Noldus open fields are perfectly suitable for video tracking experiments, and are available in a cost-effective package deal that includes a full EthoVision XT license and computer!
For home cage novel object testing, our PhenoTyper offers the perfect setup. It includes (IR) lights, a camera, and stimuli in the top unit and can also be easily equipped with equipment for other tests. PhenoTyper is powered by EthoVision XT, for video tracking and the control of the built-in stimuli.
Video tracking with Noldus mazes
All Noldus open fields are made from high-quality, non-reflective materials, which makes them ideal for video tracking with EthoVision XT.
PhenoTyper is also designed to work in combination with EthoVision XT. Clear acrylic walls can be replaced by (partially) matted walls if you need to reduce reflection.
Analysis with EthoVision XT
EthoVision XT video tracking software detects and tracks the center point, nose point, and tail base of mice and rats. Any objects used for the test can easily be identified in the arena setting during your experiment. The combination of these two features allows for the easy measurement of the proximity of the nose point to the object, which indicates the animal’s interest in it.
For some studies, this might not be a sufficient enough parameter for object exploration. Other parameters, such as animal movement and head direction can be just as important. With EthoVision XT, you can combine these into a newly defined parameter that you can use for measurement and analysis.
Read more on the blog!
Read more about studies using EthoVision XT for object recognition tasks here.