Keeping track of your experiment
The Test Schedule report shows you exactly where you've got up to in an experiment and is particularly useful when you're testing simultaneously in multiple apparatus.
Instructions for new users
ANY-maze includes a number of features for new users, including step-by-step instructions for running tests - they're a great way to quickly gain confidence with the system.
Tests can be set to start automatically when the experimenter leaves the camera's view, no need to press a button, or use some type of remote control.
Seeing what's happening in a test
While testing ANY-maze can:
- Indicate the animal's centre point.
- Highlight the part of the image it considers to be the animal.
- Highlight the zone it considers the animal to be in.
- Indicate whether it considers the animal to be immobile.
- Indicate whether any behaviour keys are pressed.
- Indicate whether any switches are active.
You choose what indicators to use as part of the experiment's protocol.
The blue highlighting indicates the part of the image ANY-maze considers to be the animal, while the orange dot indicates its centre point. ANY-maze considers this animal to be immobile, i.e. not changing its location, and the user is pressing the 'Rearing' behaviour key.
Tests always end after a fixed duration, but they can also be set to end when a specific condition is met - for example, when the animal enters a particular zone.
There are an enormous range of possible conditions you can use to trigger a test end - for example, beyond just specifying that the animal must enter a particular zone, you could stipulate that it must have remained in the zone for at least 5 seconds and that it must have done this on three occasions before the test will end.
You can create any number of these test end events - the test will end the first time any one of them is satisfied.
Performing repeated trials
You can create different stages in an experiment each of which can include repeated trials. For example, in a memory experiment you might have an acquisition stage, which includes six repeated trials, and a retention stage, which consists of just one.
You can optionally set the repetition of trials in a stage to end when an animal achieves a certain goal, for example, the animal should receive no more trials after it directly enters the 'reward' arm of the maze in three consecutive trials.
Adjusting the animals in an experiment
You can add new animals into an experiment at any time. You can also delete animals and you can retire them (they stop being tested but their results are retained).