Many assays have been developed as platforms for researching behavior. A good example of such an assay is the Elevated Plus Maze (Plus Maze). The Elevated Plus Maze (“Plus Maze”) has mostly been used to study anxiety. But, clever and creative researchers have adopted this assay for entirely different research areas.
To research this, I looked in PUBMED (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/advanced) for publications through the end of 2015 having “Plus Maze” in the Title or Abstract combined with the following specific Behavioral Research Areas (“BRA”): Cognition, Depression, Anxiety, Memory, Fear and Addiction named anywhere in the publication. The following graph shows the results! Although Anxiety was by-far the largest BRA, there was surprisingly many publications describing research where the Plus Maze has been used in other BRAs.
Breaking down the respective BRAs as a percentage of the total number of publications, 6635, I found the following:
Further, in all BRAs as shown by graphing the number of publications per year, the Plus Maze is being used more and more! It first appeared in a publication, an anxiety related article, in 1985. Almost immediately, the Plus Maze has been used in other BRAs as evidenced by the number of respective publications. Despite being more than 30 years old, the use of the Plus Maze in all BRAs appears to be growing!! The Plus Maze truly is an amazing and versatile research tool!!