The radial arm maze is test for spatial / working / reference learning and memory in rats and mice, that allows for several sophisticated test protocols. For examples, animals might be learning the location of a food reward in one of the arms by relying on cues inside or outside the maze, or they might be memorizing which turns to take from their starting point.
When investigating working memory, all arms are usually provided with a (food) reward and the animal should visit each arm only once. When used for assessing reference memory, only some of the arms contain a reward and the animal should only visit those baited arms. Visits to an arm more than once or visits to non-baited arms count as working memory errors or reference memory errors, respectively.
Made to your specifications
The Noldus radial arm mazes are available in standard sizes and colors, but just as easily made to your specifications.
All mazes are available in a cost-efficient package deal with a computer and a full EthoVision XT software license for video tracking. This license can also be used for video tracking and automation of other behavioral tests.
Video tracking in a radial arm maze
The radial arm maze is made out of grey acrylic or infrared translucent semi-transparent acrylic. This means that the maze is easy to clean, and suitable for video tracking experiment, with normal light or the use of IR backlight (and camera), respectively. Optimized for video tracking, this radial arm maze is ideally combined with EthoVision XT video tracking.
EthoVision XT detects and tracks the center point, nose point, and tail base of mice and rats. This allows for the accurate measurement of an animal’s relative position. For example, you can use it to discriminate between the animal poking only its nose around the corner or moving its entire body into one of the arms of a radial arm maze.
There are a wide range of options to automate your radial arm maze experiment. For example, add automatic doors or pellet (reward) dispensers.
With EthoVision XT you can program these add-ons. For example, open doors in a specific order, but only after EthoVision XT has detected the rodent to have visited another arm, collected a reward, and returned to the center for a certain amount of time.
Analysis in your radial arm maze test
EthoVision XT automatically calculates parameters such as the total number of arm entries to collect all food rewards, the number of visits to each arm, latency until first arm entry, and time spent in each arm. Results are visualizes in tables, graphs, and integrated visualization with video, tracking, and dynamic graphs.
Noldus mazes can be custom build to your specifications, of course optimally suited for video tracking with EthoVision XT, and available in a package deal.
Alternatively, we also offer mazes from several suppliers such as Ugo Basile and Maze Engineers (availability may depend on your location).