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Exploratory locomotor activity are measured in a commercially-available open field arena (ENV-520, MED Associates, Georgia, VT) measuring 27 x 27 cm, over a period ranging from 5 min to 24 h. Infrared beams and detectors automatically detect and record the subject's X-Y-Z coordinates every 50 msec. Post-session software analyses can provide the distance traveled, rearings, circling behavior, repetitive or stereotypical behaviors, etc. In addition, up to five "zones" may be defined, in order to monitor patterns of activity in different areas of the open field. The power of the open field task stems from the wealth of information obtained in a single session--information about behaviors that are part of the animal's normal behavioral repertoire but that may not be observable in the home cage. These measurements are made in conjunction with the Vanderbilt Murine Neurobehavioral Core directed by Dr. M. McDonald.
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Released March 26, 2019