Behaviour, Mazes, Tracking
Code: 40100

Remote-Controlled Atlantis Platforms for Morris Water Maze

The Atlantis System allows a remote control of platforms in a Morris water maze.

The Ugo Basile Atlantis Platforms can be lifted and lowered automatically by hydraulic force. They are made of clear Perspex, so hardly visible when immersed in the water tank and being operated solely by hydraulic force, no electricity is present inside the pool.

All the electrical parts of the mechanism are safely located outside the pool.

Despite the efficacy of the Morris Water Maze task, the test carried out with standard platforms has some limitations, relating to the fact that the platforms normally used have fixed height and cannot be raised during probe tests. Moreover, moving the platform always requires interrupting a trial and starting a new one. Probe tests run with the use of a lift platform give more reliable indications on the presence of true spatial learning.

Our Atlantis system makes it possible to lift the platform with the test in progress: moreover, as up to 4 platforms are driven by the same controller (or by PC), the platforms do not need to be repositioned within the pool in the course of the experiment: they can simply be positioned in the different pool quarters and lifted when necessary. Unique to our system, both platform lifting and collapsing is controlled automatically.  No more hands in the water!

When used as stand-alone tool, without motor/controller, the Atlantis hydraulic plat-form 40101-002 can also conveniently replace standard fixed platforms. 

All our Morris Water Maze tanks are provided with suitable connectors to attach up to 4 platforms.

Additional Info

    4 Platforms with one Controller Consistency of positioning in the 4 quadrants
    Remote lifting/lowering control No more hands in the pool!
    Hydraulic system No electricity in the pool
    Manually or automated mode Upward/downward movement precisely managed by controller and/or software
    Number of channels 4, independent
    Operating Modes Manual or TTL
    Controls Via control unit and/or software
    Platform vertical range 25-35cm
    Platform vertical travel 10cm
    Platform speed 10mm/second
    Platform diameter 10cm
    Power  80V/240Vac, 50/60 Hz
    Operating Temperature 10° to 40°C
    Sound Level Negligible
    Pollution Degree ≤ 2

    11Kg         1-platform

    30Kg         4-platforms

    Shipping Weight

    17Kg         1-platform

    39Kg         4-platforms



    80x60x44cm x 2 (40400)

    Warranty 40100 is covered by a 24-month warranty

    As described in the paper “The Atlantis Platform: A New Design and Further Developments of Buresova's On-demand Platform for the Water Maze” by R.I.W. Spooner et alia, in the widely used spatial learning task of the water maze is a (Morris 1981, 1984) rats (or mice) will rapidly learn to take relatively direct paths to the platform, indicating that they may have learned its spatial location.

    Transfer tests, sometimes called probe tests, in which the platform is removed from the pool, offer further evidence of true spatial learning, as trained animals display a search pattern focusing on the platform location in the training quadrant.

    For this reason, and despite its efficacy, the water maze task has some limitations: animals may develop strategies for finding the platform, such as circling at roughly the appropriate distance from the sidewall, which do not actually require them to learn where the platform is located, hence leading to falsely interpreted spatial learning.

    To overcome these limits, the Atlantis platform was designed by Buresova et al. (1985) and validated in the above mentioned paper, proving that the platform is highly (100%) reliable and showing significantly improved localization of rats trained to the Atlantis platform compared with those trained to the regular hidden platform.

    The Platform gradual rise to a position just below the water surface causes minimal behavioral disruption. The rats treat it as an escape platform in exactly the same way as the regular platform.


    40100 Complete 1-Platform System, including standard components
    40100-001 4-Channel Controller
    40101-002 Atlantis Platform
    40101-003 Motor
    E-AU 041

    USB pen drive, including:

    40100-302    Instruction Manual   

    40400 Complete 4-Platform System, including standard components
    40100-001 4-Channel Controller
    40101-002 Atlantis Platforms X 4
    40101-003 Motors X 4
    E-AU 041

    USB pen drive, including:

    40100-302    Instruction Manual   

    40101 Additional platform and motor assembly


    Bibliography on 40100

    • R.I.W. Spooner et al.: ”The Atlantis Platform: A New Design and Further Developments of Buresova’s On-demand Platform for the Water Maze” Learn. Mem. 1: 203-211, 1994 
    • G. Riedel et al.: “Reversible Neural Inactivation Re­veals Hippocampal Participation in Several Memo­ry processes” Nature Neurosc. 2 (10): 898-905, 1999
    • I.Q. Wihshaw et al.: “The Behavior of the Laborato­ry Rat: A Handbook with Tests” Oxford Univ. Press, USA: 1, 2004

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