An unique feature of this test is the possibility to test spatial learning abilities also in modestly motor-impaired animals, since the choice accuracy is not influenced by motor deficits.
The water filled corridor-like tank is illuminated at one end. The hidden platform is positioned either at the dark or lit end of the tank. The mouse is placed in the center of the tank. During acquisition of the task, each animal performs several training trials by swimming towards or away from the light to find the platform. Following the acquisition phase, the platform is switched towards the opposite end of the corridor, while the light source remains at the former position to test for reversal learning. In all trials, both choice and latency to reach the platform are recorded.
Figure 2. Two Choice Swim Test of 12 week old R6/2 mice. Number of wrong choices compared to non-transgenic mice. Mean ± SEM. n = 14 per group. Two-way ANOVA; **p<0.01.