Barnes Maze

Spatial Learning & Memory

The Barnes Maze paradigm is a hippocampal-dependent task that is widely used for the assessment of spatial working memory and/or reference memory. The animal has to find an escape hole on a brightly lit surface by using extra-maze cues.

The TSE Barnes Mazes are used in combination with a video-tracking system such as the TSE VideoMot2 system. Barnes mazes with 122cm diameter are available with 20 (rats) or 40 (mice) holes. For mice, a small version with 96cm diameter and 20 holes is also available that is especially suited for 3-point tracking analysis. Select a white or a gray maze to achieve maximum contrast with your animal. The easily removable underframe can be folded for space-saving storage when the maze is not in use.

VideoMot2 displays the movement track thus allowing to see the search strategy of the animal at a glance (random, serial, spatial). Latency to target hole, total distance traveled and average speed, as well as visits and cumulative time of stay in quadrants, are automatically calculated. In addition, the event monitor can be used to manually protocol behaviors that cannot be detected automatically.

Forero A, Ku HP, Malpartida AB, Wäldchen S, Alhama-Riba J, Kulka C, Aboagye B, Norton WHJ, Young AMJ, Ding YQ, Blum R, Sauer M, Rivero O, Lesch KP. Serotonin (5-HT) neuron-specific inactivation of Cadherin-13 impacts 5-HT system formation and cognitive function. Neuropharmacology 2020; 168: 108018

Schoberleitner I, Mutti A, Sah A, Wille A, Gimeno-Valiente F, Piatti P, Kharitonova M, Torres L, López-Rodas G, Liu JJ, Singewald N, Schwarzer C, Lusser A. Role for Chromatin Remodeling Factor Chd1 in Learning and Memory. Front Mol Neurosci 2019; 12: 3.

Pitts MW. Barnes Maze Procedure for Spatial Learning and Memory in Mice. Bio Protoc 2018; 8(5): e2744. 


Hippocampus dependent task.
No food-deprivation required.
Less stressful as the Water Maze.
Suited for both young and old animals.
Particularly sensitive to the effects of aging.
Reveals search strategies used during acquisition .


Spatial Learning..

Disease models

Cognition Deficits..

Compatible with