The Barnes maze is a standard behavioral test to investigate spatial learning and cognition in rodents.
The test consists of a circular arena with equally distributed holes on its periphery with one hole serving as target zone that is equipped with the animal’s home cage. The animal can use proximal or distal visual cues to locate and remember the target zone. Automated recordings of consecutive trials provide details on the rodent’s navigation in the arena and thus delivers information about their learning and memory performance.
Figure 1: Experimental set-up of the Barnes Maze test. Learning and reversal learning of the hippocampal learning protocol. The test can also be performed with a striatal learning protocol (not shown).
Figure 2. Barnes Maze test in 5xFAD transgenic mice. Latency of the first contact with the escape hole (A) and latency of the first contact with the target whole during the probe trial (B). n = 16 per group. Two-way ANOVA with Bonferroni post hoc test (A) and Mann-Whitney U-test (B); **p<0.01; ***p<0.001.