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Exploring the Elevated Plus Maze

The Elevated Plus Maze test is a straightforward yet powerful method for assessing anxiety-like behaviors in rodents. This maze comprises a plus-shaped apparatus with two open arms and two closed arms, all elevated on a stand at a height of approximately 60cm. This test capitalizes on rodents’ natural aversion to open, high spaces, making it a valuable tool for evaluating anxiety-related behaviors.

The primary objective of the Elevated Plus Maze is to evaluate the anxiety levels in rodents. By observing their choices between open and closed arms, researchers can gain insights into their unconditioned fear of heights and open spaces. This assessment is particularly useful in studying the impact of various experimental conditions on anxiety-related behavior.

About VJ Instruments Elevated Plus Maze

The VJ Instruments Elevated Plus Maze is designed with high-end, non-reflective materials, ensuring the accuracy of research outcomes. This instrument is available for both rats and mice and can be customized with different colors to meet specific research needs. When you choose the Elevated Plus Maze from VJ Instruments, you not only receive the maze itself but can opt for a comprehensive package. This package includes the Licensed MazeMaster video tracking software, a camera with essential accessories like cables, IR lights, light fixtures, and a PC. This package versatility allows you to perform tests on a variety of other mazes manufactured by VJ Instruments, including the radial maze, T-Maze, Y-Maze, Morris water maze, Barnes maze, Elevated Zero Maze, and the Open Field Maze, among others.


VJ Instruments offers a complete solution for tracking rodents in the Elevated Plus Maze. Here’s how it works:

  • The rodent is placed at the center of the maze, facing towards the open arm.
  • The rodent is allowed to freely explore the maze for a set period, often 5 minutes.
  • A camera positioned above the maze observes and records the rodent’s movements.
  • The camera is connected to a PC with MazeMaster software installed, which processes the video data.
  • The software records key parameters, including time spent in open and closed arms, latency to the first arm entry, total time spent in arms, distance traveled in open and closed arms, and total distance covered.
In summary, the VJ Instruments Elevated Plus Maze offers a vital window into rodent anxiety-related behaviors. With its precise design, comprehensive tracking, and array of customizable options, it stands as a valuable resource for researchers seeking to understand and evaluate anxiety in rodents under varying experimental conditions.

The Elevated Plus Maze is available in two versions, tailored for mice and rats. Here are the technical specifications for each:

SpecificationFor MiceFor Rats
Open/Closed Arm Length35cm50cm
Open Arm Width5cm10cm
Closed Arm Wall Height15cm20cm
Height (from the floor)40cm50cm
Standard ColorBlackBlack
Other Color OptionsWhite, Grey, CustomWhite, Grey, Custom

Note: VJ Instruments is committed to continuous product development and improvement. As a result, specifications may be subject to change without prior notification.



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Frequently Asked Questions

The Elevated Plus Maze is a widely used maze designed to assess anxiety-related behaviors in rodents. It consists of two enclosed arms and two open arms, and researchers observe how animals navigate this maze.

The Elevated Plus Maze is distinctive due to its elevated structure and the presence of both open and enclosed arms. It is designed to measure the animal’s preference for protected spaces and willingness to explore open, exposed areas.

The Elevated Plus Maze primarily evaluates anxiety and exploratory behaviors in rodents. Researchers can assess measures like the time spent in open vs. enclosed arms and the number of entries into each arm.

In Elevated Plus Maze experiments, rodents are placed on the maze, and their behavior is observed. Researchers record data related to arm entries, time spent in each arm, rearing behavior, and other anxiety-related behaviors.

Common measurements include the time spent in open and enclosed arms, the number of entries into each arm, and rearing behavior. These measurements help assess anxiety and exploratory behaviors.

The Elevated Plus Maze provides insights into anxiety-related behaviors and the impact of anxiety on cognition and exploratory behaviors in rodents.

The Elevated Plus Maze is a straightforward and widely used tool for assessing anxiety-related behaviors. It offers a simple way to study the effects of interventions or treatments on anxiety in rodents.

Insights from Elevated Plus Maze experiments can be applied to studies related to anxiety disorders, the effects of pharmacological treatments, and understanding the impact of anxiety on cognitive abilities.

Proper hygiene and maintenance are essential. Regular cleaning and sterilization of the maze are necessary to ensure consistent experimental conditions and prevent contamination.

While the Elevated Plus Maze is primarily used for rodents, researchers can adapt the principles to other animal models to study anxiety and exploratory behaviors.

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