VJ Instruments'

Zero Maze: Unraveling Anxiety-Related Behavior in Rodents

The Zero Maze is a specialized apparatus designed for the investigation of anxiety-related behavior and the phenotyping of rats and mice. It is a modification of the Elevated Plus-Maze, combining traditional and novel ethological measures to analyze anxiety. The design features an elevated circular platform with two opposite enclosed quadrants and two open quadrants, eliminating ambiguity in the interpretation of the central square, often found in traditional “plus” designs. This page provides insights into the Zero Maze’s purpose, benefits, technical specifications, and how VJ Instruments offers a comprehensive tracking solution for rodent experiments.
Purpose of the Zero Maze

The Zero Maze serves as a valuable tool for behavioral research, focusing on the exploration of anxiety-related behavior in rodents. Its applications include:

  • Investigating anxiety-related behavior in rats and mice.
  • Phenotyping rodents for anxiety-related traits.
  • Incorporating both traditional and novel ethological measures to analyze anxiety, allowing for more comprehensive insights.
Exploring VJ Instruments’ Zero Maze

VJ Instruments’ Zero Maze is designed to facilitate the investigation of anxiety-related behavior in rodents. This specially crafted design includes key features:

  • Platform Design: An elevated circular platform featuring two enclosed quadrants and two open quadrants for uninterrupted exploration.
  • Customization: Available for both rats and mice, catering to different research needs.
  • Sturdy Construction: Walls that fit solidly in a slotted base, ensuring stability during experiments.
  • Non-Reflective Base: A grey/black non-reflective base plate to minimize distractions.
  • Space-Saving: Removable legs allowing the maze to be stored flat when not in use.
Tracking in the Zero Maze

VJ Instruments offers a comprehensive tracking solution for researchers conducting experiments within the Zero Maze. The tracking process consists of the following steps:

  • Maze Exploration: Rodents are placed in the maze and allowed to freely explore for a set period, typically 5 minutes.
  • Camera Observation: A camera mounted above the open field maze continuously observes the rodent’s movements.
  • Data Collection: The camera is connected to a PC with MazeMaster software installed. The software records critical parameters, including the time spent in open and closed arms, latency to the first arm entry, total time spent, distance traveled in open and closed arms, total distance traveled, and more.

In conclusion, the Zero Maze is a powerful tool for unraveling anxiety-related behavior in rodents. VJ Instruments offers a comprehensive solution, enhancing the precision and ease of conducting experiments, making it an ideal choice for researchers in the field of behavioral science.

The Zero Maze is available in two versions, tailored for mice and rats. The following table presents the technical specifications for each:

Diameter (I.D.)50cm100cm
Lane Width5cm10cm
Closed Wall Height15cm20cm
Height (from the floor)40cm40cm
Standard ColorBlack 
Other Color OptionsWhite, Grey, Color as per choice on order 
Model No.VJZM-01MVJZM-01R

These specifications ensure that the Zero Maze meets the specific requirements of research involving mice and rats, allowing for precise experimentation and data collection.

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 Zero Maze is a behavioral apparatus designed to assess anxiety-related behaviors in rodents. It resembles a “zero” shape and provides a choice between open and enclosed areas for the animals.

The Elevated Zero Maze is unique due to its circular design with alternating open and enclosed segments. It evaluates anxiety by measuring the animal’s preference for protected spaces.


The Elevated Zero Maze primarily assesses anxiety and the willingness of rodents to explore open, exposed areas. Researchers study how animals navigate the maze and their choices between open and enclosed segments.

In Elevated Zero Maze experiments, rodents are placed on the maze, and their behavior is observed. Researchers record data related to the time spent in open and enclosed segments, entries into each segment, and other anxiety-related behaviors.

Common measurements include the time spent in open and enclosed segments, the number of entries into each segment, and various behaviors that reflect anxiety, such as unprotected head dips.

The Elevated Zero Maze provides insights into anxiety-related behaviors and the impact of anxiety on exploratory behaviors and cognitive abilities in rodents.

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

Researchers need to consider factors like habituation and the potential influence of non-pharmacological treatments on behavior. Variability in individual animal behavior is also a consideration.

Insights from Elevated Zero 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 in rodents and other species.

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

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

International Clients

Industrial Clients

IITs, AIIMS, CSIR, Government and Private Institutes

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