Running the maze and walking the labyrinth.

American Journal of Critical Care (Impact Factor: 1.6). 05/2010; 19(3):208-10. DOI: 10.4037/ajcc2010638
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: The assessment of learning and memory in animal models has been widely employed in scientific research for a long time. Among these models, those representing diseases with primary processes of affected memory - such as amnesia, dementia, brain aging, etc. - studies dealing with the toxic effects of specific drugs, and other exploring neurodevelopment, trauma, epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders, are often called on to employ these tools. There is a diversity of experimental methods assessing animal learning and memory skills. Overall, mazes are the devices mostly used today to test memory in rodents; there are several types of them, but their real usefulness, advantages and applications remain to be fully established and depend on the particular variant selected by the experimenter. The aims of the present article are first, to briefly review the accumulated knowledge in regard to spatial memory tasks; second, to bring the reader information on the different types of rodent mazes available to test spatial memory; and third, to elucidate the usefulness and limitations of each of these devices.
    Behavioural brain research 06/2009; 203(2):151-64. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2009.05.022 · 3.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews reported results about the effects of drugs that act upon the serotonergic neurotransmission measured in three elevated mazes that are animal models of anxiety. A bibliographic search has been performed in MEDLINE using different combinations of the key words X-maze, plus-maze, T-maze, serotonin and 5-HT, present in the title and/or the abstract, with no time limit. From the obtained abstracts, several publications were excluded on the basis of the following criteria: review articles that did not report original results, species other than the rat, intracerebral drug administration alone, genetically manipulated rats, and animals having any kind of experimental pathology. The reported results indicate that the effect of drugs on the inhibitory avoidance task performed in the elevated T-maze and on the spatio temporal indexes of anxiety measured in the X and plus mazes correlate with their effect in patients diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. In contrast, the drug effects on the one-way escape task in the elevated T-maze predict the drug response of panic disorder patients. Overall, the drug effects assessed with the avoidance task in the T-maze are more consistent than those measured through the anxiety indexes of the X and plus mazes. Therefore, the elevated T-maze is a promising animal model of generalized anxiety and panic disorder.
    Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 03/2007; 79(1):71-85. DOI:10.1590/S0001-37652007000100010 · 0.88 Impact Factor