Water maze

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A water maze is a device used to test an animal's memory for spatial location and to discover how an animal is able to determine locations. Typically the maze is circular tank filled with water that has been made milky so that it is opaque. Located somewhere in the maze is small platform placed just below the surface of the water. The subject is usually a rat or other small animal that is highly motivated to escape from water. When placed in the tank, the animal swims around until it finds and climbs up on the platform. With practice the animal finds the platform more and more quickly. Reference memory is assessed by the degree of preference for the platform area when the platform is absent. Visual and other cues in and around the tank may be varied to assess the animal's reliance on landmarks and spatial context. [1]

  1. ^ Vorhees, C. V. & Williams, M. T. (2006) "Morris water maze: procedures for assessing spatial and related forms of learning and memory", Nature Protocols 1, - 848 - 858 Published online: 27 July 2006 doi:10.1038/nprot.2006.116