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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Open space anxiety in rodents: the elevated platform with steep slopes

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Ennaceur, Abdelkader (2012) Open space anxiety in rodents: the elevated platform with steep slopes. In: Psychiatric Disorders: Methods and Protocols. Methods in molecular biology (829 n2). Springer, pp. 177-191. ISBN 978-1-61779-457-5

Item Type: Book Section


This report describes a behavioral test protocol for assessing anxiety in mice and rats in single or multiple sessions. The test is based on exposure of animals to an open-space elevated platform with suspended steep slopes attached on two opposite sides. In this test, all animals cross frequently onto and spend more time in the areas adjacent to slopes than in the areas adjacent to a void space. Balb/c mice (albinos) were shown consistently to be more anxious than CD-1 mice (albinos), c57/Bl6J and c57/Bl6N (pigmented) mice; they do not cross onto the slopes. When Balb/c mice are treated with amphetamine or diazepam, the number of crossings on the platform is signifi cantly increased but only diazepam-treated mice do cross onto the slopes. In the presence of a protected space on the platform, the behavior of c57/Bl6J compares to that of Balb/c mice; they stop crossings onto the slopes and demonstrate avoidance response. Unlike the current existing tests, the present open-space anxiety test demonstrates reliable and consistent results with strong construct and discriminant validity. It provides unequivocal measures of fear-induced anxiety, which are not confounded with measures of fear-induced escape/avoidance responses, hyperactivity or impulsive responses.

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More Information

Depositing User: Abdelkader Ennaceur


Item ID: 2717
Identification Number:
ISBN: 978-1-61779-457-5
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Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Abdelkader Ennaceur: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2012 12:28
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:33

Available Versions of this Item

  • Open space anxiety in rodents: the elevated platform with steep slopes. (deposited 22 Feb 2012 12:28) [Currently Displayed]