Brief introduction to historical mazes and their uses
Experimental mazes have been used at least since the early 20th century, and most of them involved rats. There are thousands of studies that have examined how rats run different types of mazes, from T-mazes to radial arm mazes and water mazes as well. The maze studies are used to examine especially memory, and spatial learning in rats and the maze studies have helped uncover the general principles of learning that can be applied to more species including humans.
The most significant mazes throughout history that are really worth following are listed below:
The Morris Water Maze (MWTM)
The Morris Water Maze is another extremely famous test of spatial learning for rodents that relies on distal cues to navigate from a starting location around the perimeter of an open swimming area. The goal is that the animal locates a submerged escape platform. The spatial learning is assessed across repeated trials, and the reference memory is determined by the preference for the platform area when that particular platform is absent. The animals are placed in a pool of water that is colored opaque, and they must swim to the hidden escape platform. The animals cannot rely on scent or vision, but instead, they’ll rely on external/extra maze cues. This MWTM paradigm has become one of the most important standards in behavioral neuroscience.
The Barnes maze
This is a very popular paradigm to study spatial learning and memory. This maze consists of a circular table with circular holes around the circumference. The target that is followed by this test is that the rat reaches the box which is positioned beneath one of the holes with the aid of some visual cues.
The T maze and the Y maze
This is obviously a T-shaped maze, and the test animal will start at the base of the T. There’s a reward placed in one arm of the maze or there can be more rewards placed in each arm. The rat walks around and chooses the left/right arm of the maze. The Y maze is similar to the T one, but it has three identical arms. The Y-maze is a bit easier than the T-maze because gradual turns will decrease the learning time compared to the sharp turn found in the T-maze.
Young scientists get together to create an amazing startup
Maze Engineers consists of a team of scientists in love with behavioral neuroscience. This group of scientists got together to create Maze Engineers, a startup that is helping the scientific community as a whole with its advancements.
The team led by Dr. Shuhan He came up with more solutions for figuring out new therapeutics for stroke, Alzheimer’s and more issues.
- Making unique mazes that help publish new protocol papers.
- Creating well-designed modular mazes in which there can be added rewards, punishments, wheels/treadmills and so on.
- Creating smart mazes with algorithms that help the maze function based on a rodent’s choices in real time.
- Using video integration and for this task, the team partnered up with the best video grading company in the world.
The innovative automated mazes and the Noldus EthoVision XT technology
Maze Engineers has created computerized mazes which include the following models: automated 8-arm radial maze, automated elevated plus maze, automated labyrinth maze, operant conditioning chamber, automated hole board, automated T maze and automated Y maze.
For the new mazes, Maze Engineers uses a few last generation technologies, but for now, we’re mentioning the Noldus EthoVision XT.
This is an innovative, sophisticated and versatile video tracking system for recording animal activity and movement. This system allows researchers to track the movements of their animals and also individual body points. They can also measure elongation and mobility and track other behaviors including eating, grooming, and rearing.
The EthoVision was first developed two decades ago as a video tracking software, and it has been morphed into a software platform for recording and analyzing animal behavior and movement. More than 2000 sites use the technology throughout the world, and it has been validated in thousands of publications.
Maze Engineers makes meticulously developed neuroscientific mazes and robotics targeted at creative scientists and their ideas. The small group of designers, neuroscientists, programmers and entrepreneurs from Maze Engineers love analyzing how living things behave, and their belief is that this illuminates our minds. With the use of the latest and the most innovative technology, scientists can collect data much easier in the fantastic digital era in which we all live.
Maze Engineers started with the goal of radically transforming the neurobehavioral testing in both animals and humans. Today it reached the point where it’s one of the most unique startups in the neurorobotics industry.