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J Vis Exp. 2008 Sep 24;(19). pii: 897. doi: 10.3791/897.

Morris Water Maze Experiment.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, nunezj@msu.edu.

Abstract

The Morris water maze is widely used to study spatial memory and learning. Animals are placed in a pool of water that is colored opaque with powdered non-fat milk or non-toxic tempera paint, where they must swim to a hidden escape platform. Because they are in opaque water, the animals cannot see the platform, and cannot rely on scent to find the escape route. Instead, they must rely on external/extra-maze cues. As the animals become more familiar with the task, they are able to find the platform more quickly. Developed by Richard G. Morris in 1984, this paradigm has become one of the "gold standards" of behavioral neuroscience.

PMID:
19066539
PMCID:
PMC2872979
DOI:
10.3791/897

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