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Nat Protoc. 2007;2(2):322-8.

The use of the elevated plus maze as an assay of anxiety-related behavior in rodents.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, The University at Albany-SUNY, Albany, New York, USA. aawalf@yahoo.com

Abstract

The elevated plus maze is a widely used behavioral assay for rodents and it has been validated to assess the anti-anxiety effects of pharmacological agents and steroid hormones, and to define brain regions and mechanisms underlying anxiety-related behavior. Briefly, rats or mice are placed at the junction of the four arms of the maze, facing an open arm, and entries/duration in each arm are recorded by a video-tracking system and observer simultaneously for 5 min. Other ethological parameters (i.e., rears, head dips and stretched-attend postures) can also be observed. An increase in open arm activity (duration and/or entries) reflects anti-anxiety behavior. In our laboratory, rats or mice are exposed to the plus maze on one occasion; thus, results can be obtained in 5 min per rodent.

PMID:
17406592
PMCID:
PMC3623971
DOI:
10.1038/nprot.2007.44
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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