The light/dark arena can be used to assess unconditioned anxiety level of rodents. It does not require prior training. It is based on a conflict between the innate aversion of a brightly illuminated area and the spontaneous exploratory behavior in response to a novel environment. Anxiolytic compounds decrease the total duration of time spent in the dark compartment (index of aversion) and the number of transfers between compartments (index of activity-exploration), while anxiogenic compounds have the opposite effect.
The "light/dark test" module of the Multi Conditioning System belongs to the family of “2-compartment paradigms” operated with a universal software package granting maximal user-friendliness and offering unsurpassed flexibility. It comes with or without automated door, software controlled illumination and user defined light intensity (max 1000 lux for high aversiveness).