The Open Field apparatus is a square arena that is available in a 27 x 27 cm and 50 x 50 cm sizes to accommodate different sized animals. The arena is surrounded by high walls to prevent the subjects from escaping the apparatus. In general, the walls are clear. However, opaque colors and matte finish are also available. Floor inserts for the apparatus are available with or without gridlines. These gridlines divide the area into equal smaller squares and can be helpful for both manual scoring, as well as video recording and scoring with tracking software. A square area in the very center of the area may also be outlined.
- Open field test was developed by C. S. Hall in the early 1930s.
- Open Field task is used in the assessment of locomotion, exploratory and anxiety-related
- Open field task explores the innate thigmotaxic responses and exploratory drive.
- Hall’s used the rate of defecation and urination as a measure of emotionality.
- Open field test is a simple and easily modifiable apparatus with a wide range of research applications including aging, drug effects, and lesions.
- Open field task may not provide a specific measure of anxiety. Hence, it should be used in conjunction with other behavioral batteries.
- Open field task may also not satisfactorily differentiate anxiety from fear.