Open Field Activity Meter: Opto-Varimex-5 with Light / Dark Box

Open Field Activity Meter: Opto-Varimex-5 with Light / Dark Box

The Light/Dark Box Test (also referred to as the Light/Dark Transition Test) is used to test the effectiveness of anxiolytic and anxyogenic compounds by placing subjects into a novel environment where their natural spontaneous exploratory behavior is opposed by their aversion to open and brightly lit areas. The extent to which a compound facilitates exploratory behavior depends on the baseline of a control group.

The testing apparatus starts with our classic Opto-Varimex-5 Auto-Track system that uses an array of evenly spaced photocell beams along the X and Y axis to track animal position. The Light/Dark box divides the arena equally in two parts; one side is "dark" and the other is transparent. The "dark" side is made of a special plastic that blocks visible light but allows the IR beams to pass through. The Auto-Track software is then configured to monitor each zone for entries and time spent in each zone.

The advantage to this test is that it is a quick and easy method of screening anxiety-related activity without requiring any prior training of the animals.

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Raw Data Storage

Auto-Track complies with GLP requirements for maintenance of an unalterable original data set. Auto-Track "raw" data files are in a binary format that allows for re-examination and recreation of processed parameters. The file can not be edited without flagging an error that causes Auto-Track to reject the altered file.

Real-Time Monitoring

Auto-Track provides tools for monitoring experiment progress during execution. Single cage and multiple cage monitoring occurs in real-time and is available in numerical/tabular as well as graphical form.

Validation of System Operation

For purposes of validation, real time monitoring may be employed to assess that all beams are functional and that the system is operating to factory specifications. Diagnostic procedure within the system provides documented methods for assessing system performance.

Staggered Start

Auto-Track allows ad-hoc initiation of an experiment on a cage by cage basis. Experiments bound by temporally critical procedures and/or specific dosage response characteristics can be accommodated by Auto-Tracks ability to start/stop each cage independently.

Re-Analysis of Data

Auto-Track maintains a minute-by-minute record of all scored parameters. Alternate time-binning of the data is supported with one minute temporal resolution. The resulting "re-binned" data set may be stored for further evaluation using third party statistical tools.

Data Collected

  • The interval number (Int)
  • The cage number (C#)
  • The interval start time (Start)
  • The interval stop time (Stop)
  • The distance in centimeters traveled by the subject during the interval (DT cm)
  • The resting time (no movement detected) in seconds (RT sec)
  • The stereotypic time (small movements) in seconds (ST sec)
  • The ambulatory time (large ambulatory movement) in seconds (AT sec)
  • Bursts of stereotypic movement (BSM)
  • Horizontal counts - the combined total of all X and Y axis counts (HC)
  • Ambulatory counts - combined X and Y, but only for new beam breaks (AC)
  • Vertical sensor counts - total counts from the Z axis sensor (V1C)
  • Vertical sensor breaks - single vertical rearing events with one second between (V1B)
  • Clockwise rotations (optional) (CR)
  • Counter-clockwise rotations (optional) (CCR)
  • Second vertical sensor (V axis) counts (V2C)
  • Second vertical sensor (V axis) breaks (V2B)

Complete Systems

Auto-Track/Opto-Varimex-5 for Light/Dark Transition Test:

17.5" x 17.5" arena with 1" beam spacing
0170-LDR1Auto-Track/Opto-Varimex-5 System Light/Dark System for 1 animal
0170-LDR2Auto-Track/Opto-Varimex-5 Light/Dark System System for 2 animals
0170-LDR4Auto-Track/Opto-Varimex-5 Light/Dark System System for 4 animals
0170-LDR8Auto-Track/Opto-Varimex-5 Light/Dark System System for 8 animals

Optional & Replacement Items

Light/Dark Box:

0150-LDBOpto-Varimex-5 Light / Dark Box for Mice and Rats

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