The Open Field (OF) paradigm is one of the most known primary behavioral tests to evaluate locomotion and exploration. Altered OF behaviour is relatively simple to observe, but understanding and explaining the reasons for the observed changes is a complex task. Generally, there are two factors, which determine the behavior in this paradigm; one, a positive exploratory drive originating from the nature of rodents to explore new environments (for food and shelter); and two, the animal nature of avoiding open and brightly lit spaces (exposure to predators).
OF measures locomotor activity, exploratory drive, neophobia and certain aspects of anxiety in rodents at the same time. Furthermore, one can differ between horizontal and vertical activities (number of rearings) in the OF. After all, an altered OF behavior might come from the alterations of all of the above mentioned measures. For the proper interpretation of experimental results one has to be careful.
With the aid of the present protocol we investigated the effect of systemic L-kynurenine sulphate on open field behavior of adult male C57Bl/6j mice (Varga et al., 2015).
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