Active Avoidance

Associative Learning Task

Active avoidance is a widely-used paradigm to evaluate fear-motivated associative learning and memory. The non-spatial (i.e. hippocampus-independent) task tests the ability of the animal to avoid an aversive event (foot shock = US) by lear­ning to change compartments in response to an auditory and/or visual cue (the CS) that has previously been associated with the shock. Learning performance is evaluated by analysis of avoidance (learning index) as well as response latencies over the course of the experiment.

The test is performed in a multi-purpose 2-compartment chamber with a gated divider. Several types of dividers are provided to adjust the test to the animal behavior. A large variety of experimental parameters is available to customize the task procedure including the definition of the safe area of each compartment (task difficulty). Due to the high-resolution 3D activity detection data output is not restricted to transfer behavior evaluation! Detailed results tables are generated – ready for statistical analysis.

The Active Avoidance paradigm is also part of the Learned Helplessness and Latent Inhibition paradigm of the Multi Conditioning system.

Hatalova H, Radostova D, Pistikova A, Vales K, Stuchlick A. Detrimental effect of clomipramine on hippocampus-dependent learning in an animal model of obsessive-compulsive disorder induced by sensitization with d2/d3. Behav Brain Res 2017; 317: 210-7.

Klaus F, Paterna JC, Marzorati E, Sigrist H, Götze L, Schwendener S, Bergamini G, Jehli E, Azzinnari D, Fuertig R, Fontana A, Seifritz E, Pryce CR. Differential effects of peripheral and brain tumor necrosis factor on inflammation, sickness, emotional behavior and memory in mice. Brain Behav Immun 2016; 58: 310-26.


2-compartment arena with a selection of dividers.
Flexible generation of task procedures.
CS: sound, noise, and/or light .
Independent shock delivery in both compartments - steps of 0.025mA!.
Detailed movement & activity analysis of trial sequence.
Simultaneous camera observation under all light conditions.


Emotional memory.

Disease models

Anxiety Disorders.
Cognitive Deficits.