Testing in a
The light-dark box is used to test the unconditioned anxiety response of rats or mice. It is based on the innate light aversion and the spontaneous exploratory behavior of rodents in response to mild stressors; the novel environment and the light/open space.
Light-dark box compartments
During the test, the animal is placed in a chamber with two compartments, one light and one dark. The Noldus light-dark box has one larger open room, and one smaller dark compartment. In between them is a manually operated sliding door.
The Noldus light-dark box is made out of IR translucent materials for optimal video tracking.
Video tracking in the light-dark box
The Noldus light-dark box is made out of high-quality IR translucent materials. In combination with the IR backlight and IR sensitive camera, this makes the box perfectly suited for video tracking with EthoVision XT.
All these components are available in a package deal. This includes a full license of EthoVision XT, which can be used to video track and automate a wide range of behavioral tests.
EthoVision XT is used in over 22,000 publications. Get your free trial to try it out!
Video tracking parameters
During the test, the animal can pass from one compartment to the other. Common parameters measured include time spent in each compartment and crossings from one compartment to the other. Orientation and body elongation can be useful additions.
EthoVision XT makes video tracking a breeze and automatically calculated a number of parameters based on the location of the animal, and the relative position of its nose point, center point, and tail base.
Basic behavioral neuroscience in rodents
The light-dark box is a test for anxiety in rodents. We offer them for both rats and mice. How does the light-dark box exactly work? And why can we measure anxiety using this test? In our free downloadable e-book we explain the basics behind this test and many more.