For the + maze is proposed to choose the data acquisition by image analysis or infrared beams. The result for the experimenter is the same, the software is the same and counters (visit with open arms, vacuum, time of hesitation ...) incrementing the same way it’s just the sensor acquisition that changes.
1) INFRARED: The advantage of the infrared sensor is that it is not at all dependent on the environment around the apparatus (brightness and room layout experimentation, it is also totally independent and therefore easy to change the room), the infrared is not dependent on size and color of the animal (black, white, black and white ... no setup required) .
2) CAMERA: The advantage is that the camera sensor is easily adaptable for other tests later, one can imagine that if you want to do Y maze by example or even the radial maze (test memory), you will have to buy the mechanical structure and software adapted to the new test by keeping the same camera. For the system to be easily customizable and moveable, our image analysis system is attached to the mechanical structure of the + maze.
- structure forming a "+" mounted on aluminum structure.
- all based on one foot 50 inches tall.
- two opposite arms are open (without walls) the other two are closed.
The all is mounted on small wheels for easy installation and removal.
This apparatus is connected to an interface that provides the formatting of signals from sensors and allows communication with the computer.
- graphic monitoring of animal’s position;
- recording positions and moments of change in these positions;
- replaying the recording;
Another software module allows extracting the output variables such as:
The latency of the initial exploration, The number of entries in open arms; The number of entries in the second half of the open branches, The number of entries in closed arms;
The time spent in open areas; The time spent in the second half of the open branches, Time spent in closed areas;
The percentages of those times and numbers of entries; Explorations of the void; Attempts of entries in open arms; The kinetic of all these variables by configurable time slice.
The results are presented in table importable on Excel .