A Low-Cost Analytical Method for the Morris Water Maze Task using ImageJ
Keywords:Morris water maze task, ImageJ, Low-cost analysis method, Learning and memory impairment
The Morris water maze, which has been used for more than 30 years, is one of the most famous learning and memory tasks among animals. This method is robust and reliable, and it can be carried out anywhere with little effort. Nowadays, there are many companies creating analysis software to easily analyze the Morris water maze results. However, these softwares are costly and may be difficult for researchers in developing countries especially with limited research funds. Only escape latency and time spent in the target quadrant can be manually obtained after video review. To resolve this problem and to extend the ability to detect learning and memory impairment in the Morris water maze, we provide a novel low-cost analysis method using common office tools combined with ImageJ software to analyze learning and memory impairment in rat or mouse models. In this study, we used the 2-vessel occlusion (2VO) rats and sham-operated control rats as learning and memory deficit rats and normal rats, respectively. Taken together, travel distance, swimming speed, and swimming traces can be acquired from this method, which will help researchers to investigate further impairment of learning and memory in animal models.
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