The Panlab dark-light box allows easy and quick evaluation of the animal anxious behavior and its modification by pharmacological agents by assessing the animal displacements in two compartments with different size, color and illumination.
The dark-light experimental box, constructed of Perspex, is composed of a small black compartments and a big white compartment separated by a connecting gate. Each compartment has its own removable Perspex floor of the same color of the respective walls and 90 X 90 mm sectors delimited by lines. The compartments are independently illuminated: the white one with a 100 W white bulb and the black one with a 40 W red bulb. Both bulbs are 370 mm from the floor of the box.
The Panlab dark-light box can be supplied with a weight transducer system for automated animal detection. In that case, the automated experimental chambers (up to 8) are associated to the PC-based control software PPCWIN for data storage and analysis.
Even though it may represent a more complex experiment to set due to the strong lighting contrast existing between the compartments, some researchers also use the box with a video tracking system.