Behavioral Research Blog

Autistic mice have motor learning difficulties specific to the cerebellum

Posted by G. Smit on Jan 13, 2017

Most of us are familiar with the typical behavioral characteristics associated with autism: social behavior deficits and repetitive behaviors. However, motor abnormalities are also a part of the autism behavioral spectrum. These have generally been linked to malfunction of the cerebral cortex, but recent studies have also implicated the cerebellum.

Autistic phenotype in mice

Shank2 is a gene that encodes a postsynaptic protein and has been linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In short, inactivation of this gene in mice creates “autistic mice” (Won et al. Nature 2012).

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Topics: mice, autism research, ErasmusLadder, cerebellum, autism

Best Reads of 2016

Posted by Natasja Bogers on Dec 30, 2016

As we're nearing the end of 2016 it's time to look back one more time. What did you read about most? These 10 blog posts that we wrote during the past year are the best read blog posts on the Behavioral Research Blog in 2016! 

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Topics: behavioral research, 2016

Looking back at some amazing events in 2016

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Dec 27, 2016

The past year we’ve attended a lot of events, released many products, and worked together with great scientists. We look back at a fantastic year and will continue this positive flow in 2017.

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Topics: behavioral research, measuring behavior, conferences, 2016

Investigating the relationships between the immune system and the brain

Posted by Guest blogger on Dec 21, 2016

By Julie Lasselin, PhD, Universitätsklinikum Essen, Germany and John Axelsson, PhD, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Using The Observer XT to investigate overt signs of sickness and health communication

Our research group is investigating the relationships between the immune system and the brain in Humans. One of the models we use is the experimentally-induced sickness. In this model, we intravenously inject a component of a bacteria (but not the bacteria itself), which makes the immune system believe that the body is infected and that it needs to fight the infection. Therefore, this injection activates the immune system for a short time (3-4 hours) during which a sickness response is triggered. This sickness response is composed of all symptoms that we may feel when sick, such as fatigue, reduced appetite, difficulties to concentrate, reduced motivation to see people, etc (1).

Figure. Activation of the immune system and sickness symptoms using lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and placebo. This experimental sickness model is commonly used to study acute sickness in humans and animals. We evaluated films taken the first 4 hours after injection.

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The effect of simulation-based obstetric team training on patient-reported quality of care

Posted by Guest blogger on Dec 16, 2016

Early September I spent an afternoon in the auditorium of the Technical University Eindhoven, The Netherlands to listen to the PhD defense of Sophie Truijens. As I already announced in the blog about simulation-based training, Sophie will tell us more about her study, and share her insights with us in this blog post.

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Topics: Viso, simulation-based training, patient safety, team training

Discrimination learning without human intervention or food restriction

Posted by G. Smit on Dec 15, 2016


Learning paradigms have long been the hallmark in studies on neurological and psychiatric disorders, but they often present challenges and come with limitations. For example, many of these tasks require some combination of food restrictions, handling of the animals, and/or are quite labor-intensive. Sylics recently introduced a new paradigm, called CognitionWall, that you might have already seen on our website, and aims to get around some of these limitations.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, learning and memory, PhenoTyper, cognition, cognitionwall, sylics

Looking back at the i3B Annual Symposium

Posted by Jacqueline Martinali & Annelies Verkerk on Dec 8, 2016

On Thursday November 25, I3B - a network of high-tech companies and knowledge institutes aimed at joint research & development and commercialization of innovative ICT solutions -  held its 5th annual symposium.

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Topics: mobile observation, EEG, healthcare, measuring behavior, 2016

Comparing two different skin-to-skin contact techniques

Posted by Jacqueline Martinali on Nov 23, 2016

And how they influence mother-child interaction with premature babies.

Three times I have experienced how it feels to hold my newborn baby in my arms. To feel that warm, small, naked body on top of you, the baby that is yours and grew inside you…that is probably the most precious gift I have ever experienced.
The little baby that just left the warm space it has spent all those months, and now exposed to the outside world - the only thing he or she needs is to feel safe with his or her mother or father.

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Topics: The Observer XT, video observation, parent-child interaction, eye-contact, kangaroo positioning, safety

Live from the Neuroscience 2016 exhibit hall: DIY research tools

Posted by G. Smit on Nov 15, 2016

As a research tool manufacturer, we try to listen carefully to the scientific community when we create and refine our software and instruments.

Of course we want to make the best products, and we also want you to actually buy and use them. However, I am not in the research and development department, nor am I a sales person. I just like finding out and writing about research.

So for me this Neuroscience meeting is, like last year, a great way to discover what the neuroscience community is up to.

One of the things I admire about many labs is the desire to want to investigate something, and then the creativity to collect and even create what they need for their study.

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Topics: PhenoTyper, neuroscience, conferences, SfN

Neuroscience 2016 - Notes from a marketeer

Posted by Natasja Bogers on Nov 14, 2016

November 13, 2016 - San Diego, CA, United States - Reading about and hearing stories from colleagues may get you an impression of how things run at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Walking the exhibit grounds in person give you a whole other point of view. This year's 46th edition of Neuroscience marks my first visit to the biggest conference our company attends every year.

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Topics: neuroscience, conferences, SfN, 2016

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