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anxiety behavior in mice - (Apr/10/2011 )

If I test anxiety index in open field and elevated plus maze (EPM) tests. I see a difference between 2 animal groups on open field test which reflect an anxiety behavior (time in the center/time in the periphery)on one group versus the other.
In contrast, I dont see an effect on EPM, which is know in the literature as valid to test anxiety behavior.
Im thinking either my animals do not respond in EPM, since its very sensitive in comparison to open field, or open field is not efficiently specialized in anxiety.
do you have any opinions about this?
thanks for your interaction


Hi Luciana,

I would try to remember that the OF and the EPM both measure different aspects of anxiety. As far as I understand, the OF is a good measure of exploratory activity while the EPM is a good measure of risk taking behaviours. If you do the EPM experiment again, you could consider using more light during the test, this will have the effect of increasing anxiety.


I agree with Xanthier. You need to be careful considering anxiety a unitary phenomenon because it simply isn't. It is not uncommon at all to get different results using different measures of anxiety because various tests measure different aspects of anxiety.

In agreement with Xanthier, you should be careful and aware of how your lighting conditions may affect your assays. There are also things to consider such as handling (particularly if you are injecting mice) and amount of time animals are exposed to the room in which the anxiety test will be performed.


-Mighty Mouse-