Behavioral Research Blog

3 interesting studies to get you in the mood for the Australia and New Zealand Zebrafish Meeting

Posted by G. Smit on Jan 26, 2015 11:00:00 AM

We like zebrafish and the promise they hold for neuroscience research. That’s one of the reasons why Noldus is a sponsor of the 16th Australia and New Zealand Zebrafish meeting that will take place next week at Queensland’s Gold Coast. It’s also a good reason to mention some of the most interesting zebrafish studies we have been highlighting on our blog lately.

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Topics: zebrafish

How males and females are different: can this explain autism?

Posted by G. Smit on Jan 22, 2015 1:00:00 PM

Women and Venus, men and Mars, right? Men and women are fundamentally, biologically, and emotionally different. We also act differently in social situations. Wouter van den Berg and his colleagues at the Erasmus University Medical Center (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) recently published an interesting study that, using mice, shows the establishment of social hierarchies as being sex-dependent.

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Topics: mice, social hierarchy, testosterone, gender differences, sex-specific behavior, automated tube test

Why non-verbal behavior matters

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Jan 21, 2015 2:19:00 PM

Take a typical conversation: Hello, how are you? Fine! How are you? {pause} Fine! Shall we …….etcetera. The opening of this conversation is highly structured, isn’t it? The process of turn taking is a crucial and cooperative aspect of conversational speech. Gestures are also of great importance. When your feet are already turned to the door, you are getting ready to run out. Try to read your own signals and you will see!

Conversation closers

In a conversation we include hints like conversation openers, closers, and shifters. It’s a feeling we’re all familiar with: you’re trying desperately to end a conversation, and the other person keeps on talking and does not read the clues you are giving. You say: “Anyway… “ {…Person B keeps talking} “see you Thursday, all right?” and edge toward the door… {Person B talks over you.} “Thursday noon, was it, right?” {Person B still doesn’t get the hint to leave.}…and so on. In this frustrating exchange, Person B repeatedly ignores your conversation closers, both verbal (“right”, “all right”, “anyway”) and nonverbal.

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Topics: The Observer XT, doctor patient interaction, eye tracking

How young zebrafish cope with stress

Posted by G. Smit on Jan 15, 2015 4:04:39 PM

We are all a bit stressed from time to time. Maybe some of you a bit more than usual right now, it being the post-holiday, catch-up-with-everything season and all… But stress is a natural thing, and how we cope with it differs from person to person. In research, we use the term coping style. And now Christian Tudorache and his colleagues from Leiden University (The Netherlands) have found that these coping styles emerge early on in life, or at least they do in zebrafish. They recently published a paper in Stress.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, zebrafish, activity monitoring, stress research, coping styles

Universal emotions

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Jan 13, 2015 11:02:04 AM

Broadening horizons. That is what the students (age 14-17) of School at Sea literally do. Starting in The Netherlands, they sail to the Caribbean and back in six months. During this voyage, they learn to develop their talents and leadership skills. How do they experience this journey? One of the students (Hannah @ Sea) has chosen to share her 'emotional journey'.

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Top 14 of last year’s animal behavior research blog posts

Posted by G. Smit on Dec 30, 2014 12:00:00 PM

We cannot stay behind when it comes to the end-of-year lists, so here is a top 14 of 2014’s most popular animal behavior posts on our Noldus behavioral research blog. (For a top 3 on human behavior research, see this post) As expected, the list is dominated by zebrafish research, but it’s not the topic of our most read post!

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Topics: mice, social behavior research, dogs, horses, zebrafish, learning and memory, open field test, anxiety research, rats, wolves, caterpillars, 2014, crayfish

Three things we take with us from 2014

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Dec 23, 2014 11:46:00 AM

As the year comes to a close, the results are crystal clear.

We have rounded up the top three most viewed blog posts of 2014 in psychology, neuromarketing, and autism research.

Interested? Read on!

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Topics: autism research, parent-child interaction, parent-infant dyads, Neuromarketing

Zinc deficiency, depression and electrical signals in the brain

Posted by Olga Krips on Dec 18, 2014 3:25:00 PM

Major depressive disorder

The chance that one of us will suffer from a major depressive episode during our life is approximately 10% [1]. Depression has a dramatic effect on quality of life because it results in a persistent low mood that is accompanied by a low self-esteem and a loss of interest in things that give pleasure [2]. Reason enough to carry out research on the background of major depression.

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Fearful chicken: Fear affects stress, behavior patterns, and other individuals

Posted by Guest blogger on Dec 16, 2014 12:00:00 PM

A guest blog post by Elske de Haas, Ph.D. 

Fear and stress

Being fearful is a state which most humans have experienced at some point in their life. By being easily frightened and anxious, many species show to be very sensitive to stress. Many studies have shown that anxiety can be influenced by the neurophysiological characteristics of an individual. It appears that heightened levels of corticosterone as well as low levels of serotonin constitute to many neuro-pathological disorders, such as depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

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Understanding the impact of health information technology on doctor-patient interaction

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Dec 12, 2014 12:00:00 PM

Embracing the technological advances of the last decade, many health care professionals have incorporated information technology into their daily routines. Doctors can carry patient files around on their tablets or laptops and can quickly update a status when needed. Convenience has without a doubt increased, but does such easy access to technology impact the quality of doctor-patient interactions?

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Topics: The Observer XT, doctor patient interaction, medical encounter, coding schemes

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