Despite the importance of emotional intelligence, its biological mechanism is still not well understood. For this reason, we have developed a rodent detour task which requires an animal to reach a highly desired object placed directly behind a transparent barrier that blocks the direct route to the target. This apparently simple task is highly dependent on the emotional control that is necessary to inhibit prepotent and counterproductive responses driven by the sight of a desired object. The water escape detour task designed for mice enables testing the ability to solve emotionally challenging problems, as well as identification of an impairment termed perseveration. Such a maladaptive reaction to a challenging situation is characterized by difficulty in terminating an unsuccessful response, leading to persistent repetition of inappropriate behavior. This issue is important because perseveration is associated with schizophrenia, drug abuse, and aging. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol: Water escape detour task Support Protocol 1: Preparation of escape platform Support Protocol 2: Preparation of the transparent barrier Alternate Protocol: Water escape detour task for testing acute effects.© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.