Barnes Maze - Maze Engineers

Barnes Maze - Maze Engineers


The Barnes maze is a widely used apparatus for learning and memory.

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Barnes Maze - Maze Engineers


Barnes Maze comes with 1 target box

  • Additional holes can be created upon request.
  • The entire top can be rotated around the central partition. Separately, the dark escape box can be rotated underneath the table. The escape box can be removed from a holder for easy cleaning
  • A false floor modification can be requested. This functions as second table that rotates alongside the target box, closing the floors not located at the escape box
  • The top is thick acrylic available in white, grey, or blue, designed with enough thickness to prevent visual cues of the target box

The Barnes Maze is a commonly used behavioral task in neuroscience for studying spatial learning and memory. This test is based on the fact that avoiding exposed and brightly lit areas is an essential survival strategy for rodents. It was observed that rodents have a remarkable ability to remember spatial locations, especially when motivated to escape, and this has been adapted into a behavioral task. The maze consists of a circular platform lined with holes around the perimeter, one of which leads to an enclosed escape chamber. The animal will use intra- and extra-maze cues to quickly learn the location of the target hole allowing them to escape. This task requires use of hippocampal-dependent spatial reference memory, and this ability to remember the location of the target hole can be effected by the administration of certain drugs or in disease models.

Carol Barnes first developed this maze for evaluating spatial learning and memory in 1979 (Barnes 1979). It was initially intended for rats, but has become increasingly popular for mice as well (Sunyer et al. 2007). In the battery of tasks used to measure spatial learning, the Barnes Maze is commonly compared to the Morris Water Maze and the Radial Arm Maze, and is generally considered less stressful than these alternatives (Harrison et al. 2006). Since its initial use, the Barnes Maze has been used to study the cognitive ability of animals with various deficits, such as mutant lines, hippocampal lesions, and Alzheimer’s disease (Harrison et al. 2006, Attar et al. 2013).

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