The animal is placed on an arena with regularly arranged holes on the floor. Both frequency and duration of spontaneous elicited hole-poking behavior are then measured during a short period of time. This test also provides a simple method for assessing anxious response of a rodent to an unfamiliar environment. The use of the hole-board in this perspective relies on the hypothesis that the behavior of animals exposed to a novel situation results from competition between an exploratory tendency and a withdrawal tendency. Thus, a high level of anxiety results in decreased head-dipping behavior and inversely, a low level of anxiety manifests as increased head-dipping behavior. Other associated behaviors can be evaluated during the hole board test, such as grooming, rearing and locomotion.