Elevated Plus Maze

The Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) test is used to assess anxiety-related behavior in rodent models of CNS disorders. The EPM apparatus consists of a "+"-shaped maze elevated above the floor with two oppositely positioned closed arms, two oppositely positioned open arms, and a center area. As subjects freely explore the maze, their behavior is recorded by means of a video camera mounted above the maze and analyzed using a video tracking system. The preference for being in open arms over closed arms (expressed as either as a percentage of entries and/or a percentage of time spent in the open arms) is calculated to measure anxiety-like behavior. This test can be used to phenotype strains of transgenic mice and to screen for putative anxiolytic compounds.