ERIC Number: EJ1005325
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Optimization of Apparatus Design and Behavioral Measures for the Assessment of Visuo-Spatial Learning and Memory of Mice on the Barnes Maze
O'Leary, Timothy P.; Brown, Richard E.
Learning & Memory, v20 n2 p85-96 Feb 2013
We have previously shown that apparatus design can affect visual-spatial cue use and memory performance of mice on the Barnes maze. The present experiment extends these findings by determining the optimal behavioral measures and test procedure for analyzing visuo-spatial learning and memory in three different Barnes maze designs. Male and female C57BL/6J mice were trained with a stable or random escape hole location and the sensitivities (statistical power) of four commonly used measures of learning and three measures of memory to detect differences between these training procedures were compared on each maze design. A maze design with a large diameter and no wall was optimal, because mice showed a reliable use of extra-maze visual cues, visuo-spatial search strategies, and spatial memory. A maze design with a small diameter, surrounding wall, and intra-maze visual cues was the least sensitive for determining visuo-spatial learning and memory, because mice showed little evidence of extra-maze cue use. Errors, distance traveled, and hole deviation scores were more sensitive measures of learning than latency to find the escape hole. Measures based on locating the escape hole (primary measures) were more sensitive than measures based on entering the escape hole (total measures). Measures of memory had similar levels of sensitivity on each maze. This experiment demonstrates that both apparatus design and the behavioral measures used as indicators of learning and memory can influence the ability of the Barnes maze to detect visuo-spatial learning and memory impairments in mice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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