Marble burying is commonly used to test anxiety, where burying positively correlates with anxiety. The test is also demonstrated to analyze repetitive behavior.
Two days prior to training, two glass marbles are placed into the animal`s home cage to prevent neophobia during testing. Training and testing is conducted in a new home cage (equal size, filled with 3 cm wood chip bedding, covered with a wired cage lid), under dimmed light. On the training day, animals are allowed to freely explore the testing cage without marbles for 30 min for habituation. On the testing day, approx. 24 hours after training, 15 marbles are evenly placed in the test cage to ensure equal and consistent positioning of marbles. Animals are exposed to the marbles for 30 min, while videotaped. The manually evaluated parameters are latency to start burying and number of buried marbles.
Marble Burying Test of 9 month old TMHT (tau) transgenic mice. Number of buried marbles within 30 minutes. n = 15 per group; mean +SEM; t-test; ***p<0.001.