The 5/9 holes box is commonly used to evaluate attention performance using a visual discrimination task in laboratory animals.
The Panlab 5/9 holes box is composed by a test chamber, food or drink dispenser, a Link Box to connect it to the PC and the PackWin software. The particularity of the Panlab box is that 9 holes positions are available for the test providing an higher protocol flexibility: different number of holes used, different degrees of test difficulty.
The 5/9 holes box is assembled with black aluminium walls and a transparent front door. The box is equipped with an arc of 9 contiguous apertures set into the rear wall, a house light, a food pellet dispenser and photobeams to detect the nose-pokes into the food holder. The holes not used in the experiment may be blocked up using a metal insert. Each hole is equipped with photocell beams and internal LED providing visual cues specific to each hole. The intensity of the LED can be adjusted in Link Box using the digital selector. The box is placed on a stainless-steel platform and the associated tray is easily removable to clean animal excrements.
All Panlab five hole boxes are associated with the potent and versatile PackWin software in order to control the experiment (protocol configuration, experiment running) and obtain relevant data such as correct responses, incorrect responses, omissions, premature responses, perseverance responses, time out responses, total receptacle head entries, etc.
Different experimental paradigms for sustained attention, animal models of impulsive behaviour and lateralized-discrimination task can be conducted using the nine-hole box.
The 5-choice serial reaction time task (5CSRT task) is a task currently used in this kind of boxes. A specific Packwin software module is available for ready-to-use configurations, Run panel and Data reports directly targeted to 5-choice serial reaction tasks.