The Morris Water Maze paradigm
The Morris Water Maze paradigm, in which the animal has to learn the position of a submerged platform in a water pool by using extra-maze cues is widely used for testing spatial learning & memory. The hippocampus-dependent task detects cognitive deficits due to mutation, age or drug treatment.
The TSE Water Maze package includes a pool (diameter 120cm, 160cm or 180cm), a platform, a light-sensitive CCD camera, a mounting device, remote control and the video tracking software TSE VideoMot2. A customized tubing and pump set is available as an option. The pool is manufactured in black or white to achieve maximum contrast.
Quadrants and platform positions are drawn over the image of the pool. Use the remote control to start tracking immediately after the animal has been placed in the pool. The trial is stopped automatically when the animal has reached the platform (training only) or after a set duration has elapsed. Evaluate latency to reach the target in training trials. For probe trials the platform is removed – percent time spent and visits in the target quadrant are a measure of memory. Add parameters such as heading angle, Wishaw´s index or Thigmotaxis behavior to further differentiate between search strategies of animals.
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