Open Field


Clinical Background

The open field test is one of the most widely used procedures in behavioral testing. This versatile test captures measures of anxiety-like behavior and motor activity. Spontaneous activity in the open field is considered a measure of motor function. Where the animal spends time in the open field is considered a measure of anxiety. Rodents have a natural aversion to open spaces and tend to prefer the areas close to the walls of the apparatus. Anxiolytic compounds will increase time spent in the middle of the open field.

Mean Blinded Radiation Dermatitis Scores



Treatments that stimulate or depress activity can be assessed using the open field test. This test has been validated by examining GBR-12935 induced increases in activity and diazepam induced decreases in activity. The graph above shows summed distance traveled in the open field following treatment. These data demonstrate the sensitivity of the task in distinguishing activity levels.