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The Morris Water Maze is a widely used behavioral task in neuroscience for studying spatial learning and memory. This test is based on the fact that an animal will try to escape a stressful situation or stimulus, which in this case is a large pool of water. The pool contains a small platform, either visible above the water level, or just below the surface of the water. This small platform allows the animals to escape the water and allows them to stand without the stress of swimming and is designed with a mesh or grooved material that allows for easy handling. Pre-training occurs by introducing the location of the escape platform and using a platform that is visible above the water surface. On the following days, the actual test is performed, in which the platform is hidden beneath the water surface. To escape swimming in the water, the animal must remember the location of the escape platform using visual cues in the testing area, which requires the use of hippocampal-dependent spatial reference memory, and this ability to remember the location of the platform can be affected by the administration of certain drugs or disease models.
The MWM was first used by Richard Morris at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in the early 1980s. Since then, it has become one of the most widely used tools in behavioral neuroscience because of its ease of use and training, its many variations, and its ability to test various areas of brain function. Morris published a series of papers describing the maze and its evaluation of hippocampal-dependent learning over several years (Morris 1981, Morris 1982, Morris 1984, Morris 1986). The maze also gained popularity when it was used by Ian Whishaw’s group in Canada (Kolb et al. 1982, Kolb et al. 1983). Since these initial papers, the maze has been used to study various disease models, including endocrine abnormalities, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, other neurodegenerative diseases, and their effects on learning and memory (Brandeis et al. 1989).$1,390.00 – $1,590.00
The T maze is an enclosed apparatus in the form of a T placed horizontally, similar to the Y maze. Animals usually start from the base (long arm) of the T and allowed to choose one of the goal arms. The test relies on either spontaneous alternation or rewarded alternation(1). See the video for how to grade this maze. Optional food wells, doors, and return to start arms can be added to your order a-la-carte. Non-reflective options are made in the interior of the maze on request.$1,090.00 – $1,490.00
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.$1,190.00 – $1,390.00