The Barnes maze is a popular test for assessing spatial learning and memory in rats and mice.
To begin the test the animal is placed on top of the Barnes maze platform, a brightly lit environment consisting of a fixed number of holes around its periphery. In such an open environment, rodents naturally seek a dark enclosed surrounding, which is provided in the form of a dark box (goal box) under one of the round holes around the perimeter of the platform. The amount of time required for the animal to locate the goal box using visuo-spatial cues surrounding the maze periphery is measured by the researcher.
Unlike the Radial maze and Watermaze test the Barnes maze does not require dietary restrictions or swimming stress, making it a useful alternative for behaviorally phenotyping genetically modi! ed mice and rats.
Panlab provides different models of Barnes mazes for rat and mouse, with different floor color and goal/false box options:
- Basic Barnes maze includes: 1 or 2 floor colors, rotating floor, 1 goal box (! xed location) and 1 starting cylinder
- Full/Flexible Barnes maze includes: 3 floor colors, rotating floor, 1 starting cylinder, 1 goal box and the corresponding number of false boxes. Additional goal boxes can be used for more advanced memory tasks (to be purchased separately). Goal/false boxes can be freely positioned beneath any hole.