Automated Rotary Y-Maze

This apparatus allows to study the learning and memory of animals. Equipped by automatic doors, users can control the entrance into arms and distribution of rewards. The maze can automatically rotate after a trial.

AUTOMATED ROTARY Y-maze

This apparatus allows to study the learning and memory of animals.

After each trial, the automated rotary Y-Maze may rotate of 120° clockwise or anti-clockwise. As a consequence, the animal may always be placed in the same position to start a new trial.

 

Apparatus

Our automated rotary Y-Maze is equipped with:

  • A Y-shape structure which can be rapidly removed and cleaned,
  • Removable walls in the end of the arms in order ot to get access to the animal,
  • Automatic doors which control the access to the distal parts of the arms,
  • Automatic food dispensers (with a purge system) located at the end of each arm,
  • A system that rotates the maze. When the animal is located at the end of an arm and the door is closed behind it, the rotation can be triggered so that the animal  is braught back to the departure location. The arrival arm of the previous trial becomes the starting arm of the next.
  • Our videotracking system, which locates the animal in the maze,
  • An electronic TTL pulse generator, which allows synchronization with electrophysiology or optogenetics (open and closed-loop activation),
  • A PC-computer to run our softwares,
  • An electronic interface.

      Y-Maze rotatif        Y rotatif

The automated rotative Y-Maze exists in a non-rotative version.

Coupling with Electrophysiology / Optogenetics

We propose solutions to couple the analysis of the behavior with electrophysiological recordings or optogenetic activation.

We developped a rotative assistant system to conduct experiments with connected animals in large environments.

For electrophysiology, we offer:

  • a 64-channel electric commutator, equipped with a sophisticated rotation and rearing compensator,
  • a communication system to send TTLs pulses to an external device (such as a electrophysiological Input board). These electric signals are synchronous with the events that we manage on our software. In this way, all the events (anilal behavior as well as activation of actuators) will be signed on your electrophysiological trace.

For optogenetic activation, we propose:

  • a rotation and rearing compensator, compatible with any optical commutator,
  • a device to activate lasers. This accessory sends electric signals up to 500Hz. The experimenter decides the exact moment according to clocks or behavioral outputs at which a customized train of pulses may be sent to the laser to specifically activate the targeted bunch of neurons.

 

Softwares

The automated rotary Y-maze is based on our videotracking software. Depending of the animal position, our software allows to:

  • open automatic doors,
  • distribute rewards,
  • rotate automatically the maze,
  • detect and record the animal position in real time.

 

A software module for managing data files can calculate output variables:

  • number of entries and time spent in each arm,
  • position of the animal over time (X, Y),
  • number of rewards obtained,
  • performances: correct and incorrect answers, cutoffs, etc
  • latency, etc.

The results are displayed in a Microsoft Excel compatible datasheet.