We have now translated the elevated plus-maze (EPM) from rodents to humans. The EPM is the most widely used behavioral assay for anxiety-related behaviors in rodents. By using a mixed reality with real-world objects that were augmented by a virtual environment, we found that participants' anxiety ratings were related to identical outcome parameters as in other mammals.
Thus, we could demonstrate cross-species validity of open arm avoidance as a translational measure for anxiety. This first ecologically valid assay to track actual human approach-avoidance behavior under laboratory conditions opens the way for innovative pharmacological and neurobiological research.
BMC Biology 2017 15:125
Autor: Tim Kurjak