Morris Water Maze Test

What is Morris Water Maze Test?

The Morris Water Maze Test is a behavioral test primarily used in animal research to assess spatial learning and memory abilities. It involves placing a small animal, typically a rat or mouse, in a large circular pool filled with opaque water. The pool is divided into four equally-sized quadrants, and a submerged platform is hidden in one quadrant just beneath the water’s surface.


The goal of the test is for the animal to find and remember the location of the hidden platform as quickly as possible. The location of the platform remains constant throughout the test. The test can be conducted over several days, with multiple trials per day.


During each trial, the animal is released in the pool from various starting points, and its ability to find the platform is measured by the time it takes to reach it. To find the platform, the animal must rely on spatial cues and learn to navigate through the water maze using spatial memory.


Various parameters can be measured during the test, such as latency to find the platform, path length, and swimming speed. These parameters can provide insights into the animal’s spatial learning and memory abilities. Additionally, changes in these parameters over repeated trials can indicate improvements or declines in the animal’s ability to learn and remember the platform’s location.


Workflow of Morris Water Maze Test

  1. Preparation (animal grouping, test preparation)


  1. Perform the visible platform trial


  1. Perform the hidden platform trial


  1. Perform the probe trial


  1. Perform the reversal trial


  1. Data Analysis


  1. Delivery to customers


Data Analysis of Morris Water Maze Test

The Morris water maze experiment allows for the analysis and inference of learning, memory and spatial cognitive abilities by observing and recording the time it takes for animals to enter the water and search for hidden platforms, the strategies used and their swimming trajectories. The experiment has a wide range of statistical indicators that can be used to evaluate the animals.


Morris Water Maze Test Applications

The Morris water maze is used as a classic experiment in scientific research in a wide range of fields such as spatial cognition, learning memory, hippocampal and extrahippocampal studies, intelligence and aging, new drug development and safety evaluation, toxicology, pharmacology, animal psychology and behavioral biology.


  • Research on diseases related to cognitive disorders (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, vascular dementia).
  • Screening of neurotoxic or therapeutic drugs.
  • Effects of cortical decline or brain damage on cognitive memory.
  • Effects of drugs or other experimental treatments on the eyesight of animals.
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