The T-Maze and Effect of Music on Learning Ability of Mice (again.)

edchong at my-deja.com edchong at my-deja.com
Fri Nov 12 23:11:26 EST 1999


Hello everyone,
I'm a 15 year old student doing a project on the effect of music on the
learning ability of mice. I am currently facing two problems. I know
this message is long but if you know anything about the T-maze or
animal/mice behaviour, please help. I desperately need it, because I am
running out of time and my experiment seems to have reached a major
roadblock.

In my experiment, I am using the standard T-Maze to test the learning
ability. However, very often the mice do not seem to want to complete
the maze in the shortest time. Instead they just remain in the same
position and do nothing. This becomes extremely time-consuming and
frustrating. How do I condition the mice? I always put it back into an
empty cage and feed it with a food pellet before returning it to the
original cage with other mice. However, it

1)Doesn't eat immediately (it seems to look around for quite a while) or
doesn't eat at all
2)Seems to be very frightened. (I think somehow the mice have managed to
associate the experiment with some kind of torture.) I think this is
clear to me when the mouse is put into the maze. The first thing it
tries always is to escape from the entrance. When it realizes that the
entrance is shut, it just stays there for a long time. One other thing
I've observed is that it always stays in the same arm of the "T" in the
maze. It does not want to venture into the junction point.

Secondly, one of my teachers says that my experimental design has a
flaw. In my experiment, I have 5 groups of mice, 5 mice each. One group
as control, the rest of the groups exposed to music of different types.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, I play music to say, Group A and B, (2
hours a day) and conduct the T-maze test on Group C and D. On Tuesdays,
Thursdays and Saturdays, the procedure is reversed. Group A and B are
tested while C and D listen to music. My idea is to see the long term
effect of music on mice. My teacher says that it will have no effect at
all, and advises that I play the music WHILE the mice are running
through the maze. Or perhaps I should play the music just before I do
the testing? What should I do?

Thanks for reading,
Edmund


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