Open field test

open-field-testEvaluation of activity and anxiety

This commonly used test is an efficient method to measure a change in activity/anxiety-related behaviour due to genetic mutations or interventions. Due to the novelty of the open white plastic arena mice will explore the arena. Activity is tracked by overhead video tracking. Gross changes in motor function may be detected by changes in the total distance moved or velocity. Alterations in emotionality may be detected by changes in the time spent in the center area of the arena.

Genetic background affects open field behaviour

Common inbred strains of mice differ in activity and anxiety-related behaviour. In collaboration with our partners, we studied the behaviour of a panel of these commonly used inbred strains of mice in a battery of activity/anxiety tests1.

A more detailed protocol for the open field test can be found here.

1Activity and impulsive action are controlled by different genetic and environmental factors. Loos et al., Genes Brain Behav. 2009; 8:817