Social testing in the

Agora maze

The Agora maze is a new sociability test, also known as the Sociobox method. This test was developed by D. Krueger-Burg and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine Göttingen, Germany in 2016.

The goal of the test is to measure how readily the subject identifies an unfamiliar mouse amongst the acquainted mice.

Social testing in the Agora maze
 

Agora maze principle

This maze has a large open central arena and is surrounded by 5 cubicles, in which the subject can be confronted with 5 stimulus mice. The goal of the test is to measure how readily the subject identifies an unfamiliar mouse amongst the acquainted mice. So the Agora maze diagnoses social recognition deficits, and therefore is helpful in research on psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

agora maze full image
agora maze close up
 


Maze development

Ugo Basile developed this maze in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen, where it was used to investigate smell related behaviors and loss of sense of smell (anosmia) in the context of Parkinson’s disease.

 


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Agora maze specifications

The Agora maze consists of a 50x50cm grey base with 5 cubicles dimensioned 13x11.5cm, with 25cm height. Each cubicle is divided from the central square with detachable clear sliders. Holes in the clear panels permit odor-exchange. The maze is also designed for video tracking, allowing for automatized experiments.

 
 


References

Krueger-Burg, D.; Winkler, D.; Mitkovski, M.; Daher, F.; Ronnenberg, A.; Schlüter, O.M.; Dere, E.; Ehrenreich, H. (2016). The Sociobox: a novel paradigm to assess complex social recognition in male mice. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 10, 151.

 


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