Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Open-field Test

Laboratory experiment procedure in which an animal subject is placed in a space (the open field) with which it is completely unfamiliar; the open space is square or rectangular, contained within walls, and the floor is divided into grids. Behavior such as locomotion or exploration is measured by the number of grids entered or some other criterion that the researcher selects. Small rodents are the most frequently used subjects for this type of study, but some primate researchers have also used this method.

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