Brown Institute for Brain Science

Modified Open Field

Rationale of Test

This task is used to assess locomotor activity of mice during early developmental ages. It can also be paired with recording of ultrasonic vocalizations to assess distress calls emitted by the pup.


An empty shoebox size housing cage.


A single pup, postnatal day 10-12 is placed into the empty cage and their activity is recorded over a 5 minute trial. The distance traveled by the mouse is recorded using digital tracking software.


Locomotion of mice is compared with a relevant control group, and increases or decreases in locomotion are used as indicators of hyper or hypo-locomotion at this age. We are currently assessing the predictive validity of this task for measures of locomotor function later in life.

Relevant Controls


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