Home : Behavioral Tasks : Tasks : Water Maze
Description: Mice are trained to locate a hidden platform within a pool of opaque water using spatial cues around the pool as a guide.The tank is surrounded by curtains that contain contrasting shapes that serve as spatial cues. Free swims (trials in which the platform is removed) are given through out training to assess learning. Cued or visible platform trials are typically given at the end of training and serve as a sensorimotor index for each mouse
Purpose: The water maze is a task designed to test spatial learning and memory and was originally developed to test animals' ability to navigate to a specific location (place learning), however, it can easily be adapted to test spatial working memory. This task is hippocampal dependent and highly sensitive to hippocampal functional integrity, although other brain structures, such as the pre-frontal cortex and basal forebrain, are important.
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