The Aron test or four plates test is an animal model of anxiety in which the exploration of the novel surroundings is suppressed by the delivery of a mild electric foot shock.
Basically, the apparatus consists of a cage floored by four identical rectangular metal plates (8×11 cm) separated from one another by a gap of 4 mm. The plates are connected to a shocker unit that can generate electric footshocks.
Following habituation period, the animal is subjected to an electric shock when crossing (transition) from one plate to another, i.e. two legs on one plate and two legs on another. The number of punished crossings is generally calculated for a period of 60 s. A substance with anxiolytic properties induces an increase in the number of punished passages.