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Dynamic Maze for Environmental Enrichment of Rodents

We designed the maze for easy manipulation, cleaning, and observation. By connecting the pieces in different ways the maze is easily adaptable to a number of cages. Building into vertical dimensions allows to increase the surface area without requiring custom-built cages used in other approaches. The extension of the accessible surface into the vertical dimension allows mice to exhibit their natural behaviour of navigating through a burrow. By separating food and water sources and configuring the maze appropriately, animals can be encouraged to navigate through the maze. Full transparency allows observation at any location within the cage.

Connecting the Pieces

Download and watch the video

Maze pieces can be easily stacked and re-configured. After disassembling the maze the pieces can be easily cleaned and stored.

Maze Pieces Specification

The maze pieces can be produced with most mills or water jets. Download the specifications here

maze piece specification

Maze piece specification

The Enclosure

We used standard rat cages which can be rack mounted, have air inlets, containment, and can be carried comfortably.

Reproducible Research

Current environmental enrichment research is confounded by the inconsistent enrichment protocols. This complicates comparison between studies. Our maze offers as easily-built open source solution to facilitate reproducible research of spatial enrichment in rodents.

The specific maze layouts we use for environmental enrichment at our lab (Scholz et al., 2015) can be found here and here.

Current Research

Using the novel re-configurable cage design, we found considerable structural brain changes in mice (Scholz et al., 2015).


Scholz, J., Allemang-Grand, R., Dazai, J., & Lerch, J. P. (2015). Environmental enrichment of adult C57BL/6 mice is associated with rapid volumetric brain changes. Neuroimage. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.01.027

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