- The Elevated Plus Maze is a widely used anxiety-related behavioral assay.
- The maze has four alternating enclosed and open arms radiating from the small central platform, spaced at 90 degrees from one another.
- The animal’s preference for enclosed or open spaces is recorded in an Elevated Plus Maze task.
- Subjects treated with anxiolytic drugs tend to show lessened anxiety-like behavior by visiting the open arms more.
- Subjects treated with anxiogenic drugs show heightened anxiety-like behavior and prefer the enclosed areas of the maze.
- By enclosing the adjacent arms and introducing aversive stimuli in the enclosed arms, the apparatus can be easily adapted for a discriminative avoidance task.
- Specific strains of rodents may perform differently on the maze.