The Y maze is similar to the T maze, except with three arms at 120 degrees to each other. The rodent or mouse starts at the end of one arm, then chooses between the other two. Spontaneous alternation is measured to demonstrate learning.
The Y-maze is often preferred to the T-maze because gradual turns decrease learning time as compared to the sharp turns of the T-maze. It is also a smaller maze* to allow fewer degrees of freedom of movement, focusing the animal on the task at hand. The Y Maze can also be baited with food for rewarded alternation. Food wells are standard 1cm deep.
Open Field test is a popular protocol used to assess exploratory behavior and anxiety. Thigmotaxis in the open field is used to evaluate anxiolytic, anxiogenic and even non-pharmacological treatments. Ambulation is the most common behavior studied with this maze, but others such as latency or rearing can also be measured. In addition, objects can be added for a modification similar to the novel object recognition field.
Walls can be both opaque or clear. We recommend that clear walls are used for measurements of anxiety, while opaque walls are used if assessments include novel object recognition.