Delayed Match to Place Water Maze

The Delayed Match to Place protocol is designed to test spatial memory and working memory by observing and recording escape latency, thigmotaxis duration, distance moved and velocity during the time spent in the water maze tank. Tempera paint is added to the water until it becomes opaque and a hidden platform with a diameter that is 1/10 the diameter of the tank is placed about 1cm below the water’s surface. Three quarters of the water tank are surrounded by privacy blinds with at least three 2-Dimensional and/or 3-Dimensional visual cues. The subjects are monitored by a video tracking system directly above the water tank as they swim and the parameters of interest are recorded using Ethovision software. Subjects are tested with pseudo-randomized platform locations and drop locations. Four 90s trials are given each day. The trial ends either when the subject rests on the hidden platform for 3 seconds or after 90s have elapsed. Unlike in the Reference Memory Protocol, the platform location is changed daily in the DMP protocol. Subjects have to learn the new platform location each time it is repositioned. Subjects that successfully learn DMP demonstrate decreases in escape latency across the four trials each day. The amount of savings (difference in Escape Latency during the first trial and remaining trials) can also be used to assess learning and flexibility.