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 the maze, but also takes away the availability of an often used starting point during the test. Again, the differences in time spent in the open and closed sections are measured and used as indication of anxiety versus exploration.
Made for your lab
The Noldus elevated zero maze is manufactured from high tech material, and is available in standard non-reflective grey or your color of choice. It is designed for video tracking experiments, and works perfectly in combination with EthoVision XT.
The zero maze is available in both a rat or mouse version and comes in a cost-efficient package deal that includes a computer and a full EthoVision XT software license for video tracking. This license can also be used for the video tracking and automation of other behavioral tests.
Video tracking in an elevated zero maze
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 parameters such as percentage of time spent in open quadrants, latency to first open section entry, and more.
EthoVision XT detects the center point, tail base, and nose point of your rat or mouse, allowing for an accurate measurement of position that enables you to discriminate between the subject only poking its nose around the corner or moving its entire body into one of the open sections of the zero maze.
Detecting multiple body points also allows EthoVision XT to automatically detect behaviors such as body elongation – a characteristic of the stretch-attend posture that is often considered a response to an environment that incites both fear/anxiousness and curiosity.
Noldus mazes can be adjusted or custom-built to your specific requirements. Alternatively, we also offer mazes from several suppliers such as Ugo Basile and Maze Engineers (availability may depend on your location).