Behavioral Research Blog

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Posted by Jacqueline Martinali on May 19, 2016

It’s Friday the 13th. Together with my colleague Sandra, we took a walk around Amsterdam’s Java Island. All around us we read slogans like ‘the future has arrived’, ‘drinking water is getting scarcer’ and ‘how do we use and abuse data?’ Already a special feeling is coming over me. The future has arrived on Friday the 13th? What does that mean for our visit here in Amsterdam?
Between all the pavilions, installations, and prototypes about the future of everyday living, we easily found what we were looking for: the We Are Data - mirror room.

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, facial expression recognition software, mirror room, remote photo-plethysmography

How to use CatWalk XT and Incapacitance Tester in non-clinical pain research

Posted by Guest blogger on May 13, 2016

Today we have another guest blog post for you! Heta Svard from Orion Pharma studies pain and neurological disorders and will be presenting a poster on a recent study at Measuring Behavior 2016 in Dublin this month! I encourage you to pay her a visit (poster no. 39), but for now, you can read about her study in this post. Thanks, Heta! 

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Topics: CatWalk XT, inflammatory joint pain, analgesic research

How sleep heals the brain

Posted by G. Smit on May 10, 2016


rearing-brow-rat-500.jpgWe sleep a large portion of our lives. We need to, we know this, and science proves it. Sleep helps us to process what we have learned, to let our nervous system function properly, and to concentrate during the day. We have all been there: a bit of stress or anxiety for a big day coming up leads to not sleeping well, and we suffer the consequences. Loss of concentration, maybe a bit cranky… my mother always told me sleep makes everything better. And now researchers have proven that it can heal the brain. The question is, how?

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Topics: EthoVision XT, learning and memory, rats, novel object test, traumatic brain injury, sleep research

The bat - moth aerial battle in 3D

Posted by Fabrizio Grieco on May 5, 2016

Any insect that flies at night must deal with bat predation. Take a moth, for example. Moths arrived first on the evolutionary stage; when much later on bats appeared with their sophisticated apparatus for echolocating prey, moths were forced to change or die. Some species developed ears to hear the approach of a bat; this generally evokes evasive flight maneuvers like loops and dives. Other species acquired distasteful chemicals that gave them a repugnant or poisonous taste. Some even developed the ability to produce sounds that seem to confuse, and sometimes thwart, an attacking bat.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, media recorder, Track3D, moths, bats

6x Neuroscience conferences to attend this summer

Posted by Natasja Bogers on May 3, 2016

With hundreds of meetings every year it’s easy to overlook the best conferences to attend. But don’t worry: we sorted out some of the best meetings on neuroscience so you don’t have to. From national gatherings to international monster-meetings: these 6 neuroscience conferences are a must-visit this summer.

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Topics: neuroscience, conferences, 2016

Why measuring behavior is awesome (+3 examples to prove it)

Posted by Natasja Bogers on Apr 28, 2016

Behavior is a general and universal thing. To state it simply: behavior is the way a person or animal acts in a particular situation/environment. As ways to behave are numerous and we are a curious species, people have been measuring behavior for centuries now. So, why is measuring behavior awesome? These 3 examples prove it.

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Topics: behavioral research, measuring behavior, conferences

The End of Sitting: a tool to prevent the negative effects of sitting

Posted by Jacqueline Martinali on Apr 25, 2016

What do you do when you want to think things over? In what position or environment are you when you get the best idea ever - in the shower, pacing up and down? Riding on your bike watching people go by, or enjoying the beautiful nature around you? Do you get in motion to organize your thoughts, or can you stay still sitting on a chair? And how does that affect your work habits? How do you stay active and productive?

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Topics: The Observer XT, video recording, sitting behavior, health effects, affordances

Understanding adolescent emotions

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Apr 12, 2016

I was waiting for my exam results, and so was the son of our neighbors. And then there was a bang. A really loud one. I could guess the outcome of his exam simply by hearing that bang.

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Topics: The Observer XT, parent-child interaction, adolescent behavior, coding behavior, depression

No science fiction: Magnetogenetics and how to induce animal behavior

Posted by G. Smit on Apr 7, 2016

mouse-305.jpgFor a few years now, optogenetics has been the answer to shortcomings of using pharmaceuticals or electrodes in brain research. The temporal and spatial precision of optogenetic methods rapidly produced many new insights into neural networks in the normal and diseased brain. But like any other methodology, optogenetics also has limitations. Although wireless options have been developed, optogenetics means neuronal control by light, and delivering this light to the selected brain cells is still an invasive method (unless you are using larval zebrafish). Additionally, the method can be difficult to scale up, including to more neurons, deeper brain tissues, or larger brains.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, zebrafish, optogenetics, chemogenetics, magnetogenetics

Become and stay aware about children with autism

Posted by Jacqueline Martinali on Apr 6, 2016

Last week I had a chat with a friend of mine whose eldest son (8 years old) was diagnosed several years ago with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She told me about a conversation she and her husband had with a speech therapist, who explained to them that when someone asks their son a question or tells him something to do, it usually takes 7 seconds before his brain processed this information. Imagine that, 7 seconds – that’s quite a lot. In those 7 seconds many other words can be said or questions can be asked. But for this little boy it means that it is important to speak slowly and give one instruction at a time, or you will likely get little to no response, or only partial task completion.
When there is a lack of understanding, you don’t realize that he needs this time to see the whole picture. When you have to deal with this over and over again, every single day, you can become very frustrated and annoyed by the child’s seeming failure to understand, or worse, lack of desire to listen.

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Topics: The Observer XT, autism research, parent-child interaction, child, social cognition, ASD, theatre, autism

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