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The elevated plus maze (EPM) is a test measuring anxiety in laboratory animals that usually uses rodents as a screening test for putative anxiolytic or anxiogenic compounds and as a general research tool in neurobiological anxiety research such as PTSD and TBI.

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It has a completely different design compared to the t-maze, but instead of using a battery of different behaviour models this test can be used to measure a variety of dependent and independent variables.

In this context "multivariate" is defined as that the subject has a free choice of different environments contained in the same apparatus and session.

The EZM is more sensitive to changes then the EPM due to the baseline level in the EZM being lower than the EPM.

The elevated T maze (ETM) has three arms in the shape of the letter "T".

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and tricyclic antidepressants, which are commonly employed in clinical settings to treat anxiety disorders, also do not lead to a stable anxiolytic effect on EPM.

The continuous nature of this apparatus eliminates the problem of the EPM in how to account for the animal's presence in the center area of the EPM.Classical clinical anxiolytics, such as benzodiazepines (e.g., Valium), do reduce measures of anxiety in EPM.However, more novel compounds, such as 5-HT agonists (e.g., Buspar) give mixed results.In the EPM, this translates into the animals limiting their movement to the enclosed arms.Anxiety reduction is indicated in the plus-maze by an increase in the proportion of time spent in the open arms (time in open arms/total time in open or closed arms) and an increase in the proportion of entries into the open arms (entries into open arms/total entries into open or closed arms).The MCSF consists of different areas associated with risk-taking and shelter-seeking.

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