Behavioral Research Blog

Four facts about zebrafish and zebrafish larvae

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Feb 11, 2016, 12:01 PM

Did you know that zebrafish larvae are able to detect minute movement in the water?

At the Max Planck Institute in Germany, Groneberg and colleagues (Groneberg et al. 2015) showed that larval zebrafish show approach reactions followed by a form of positive taxis and gradual motion damping in response to water flows. That might sound complicated, but what it basically means is that zebrafish larvae are able to detect minute movement in the water and respond in a stereotypical way.


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Topics: EthoVision XT, zebrafish, Danio rerio, DanioVision

Let children design their own playground

Posted by Jacqueline Martinali on Jan 28, 2016, 11:54 AM

Getting outside, playing, and exercising is essential for healthy child development. It goes without saying that playing outside must be encouraged in children, especially when we realize that an estimated 80 percent of young children don’t exercise enough. The impact of playing outside on the social, motor and emotional development of children and their learning ability is immense. Therefore, it is of interest to researchers to answer the question: what makes the best playground, according to children?

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Topics: The Observer XT, video observation, behavioral research, motor development, child, child development, playing behavior

Emotion analysis can be beneficial to researchers in decision making

Posted by Guest blogger on Jan 13, 2016, 10:29 AM

Introducing muCap

By David Schinder

David Schindler is the laboratory manager of the interdisciplinary decision making laboratory MELESSA at the University of Munich, currently visiting the University of Pennsylvania.

Many researchers interested in human behavior have used Noldus FaceReader in the past to determine emotional states of their subjects. By now, it has become somewhat of a standard to analyze emotions in small-scale psychological studies, to gain insights into consumer behavior from a marketing perspective and in many more areas.

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, facial expression analysis, emotions, psychology, economics

5 reasons to visit the International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare

Posted by Jacqueline Martinali on Jan 11, 2016, 2:43 PM

The 16th Annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare is fast approaching, and will be held on January 16-20 in San Diego, California! Don’t miss the largest gathering of simulation healthcare professionals. Here are five reasons why you really ought to attend.

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Topics: TrackLab, simulation, healthcare, conferences, healthcare education, medical simulation, Eye tracker

Serotonin and social skills: how adult mice differ from juveniles

Posted by G. Smit, MSc & A.H. Macbeth, PhD on Jan 7, 2016, 1:12 PM

Serotonin (5-HT) is a busy neurotransmitter, influencing such varied neuronal processes as memory, mood, emotion, appetite, and even sexuality. A prime role for this neurotransmitter is social behavior, across a variety of species; humans, rodents, primates, and even flies all rely upon serotonin to display normal social behaviors. These social effects are partly mediated through the serotonin receptor 5-HT2CR. This role has been confirmed by pharmacologic treatment, but until recently this work had focused primarily on adult rodents. In this current article, Séjourné and colleagues from the Scripps Research Institute (Florida, USA) for the first time investigated the role of 5-HT2CR in the development of social behavior.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, social behavior research, sociability test, seizure behavior

Observational research: improving the shopping experience at airports

Posted by Natasja Bogers on Jan 4, 2016, 1:00 PM

We’ve all been there: arriving at an airport hours before your flight leaves, wandering around to pass time before you can board. Luckily, most airports offer stores where you can buy food, books, and tax-free items, but how often is it that you’re not truly interested in shopping and just keep strolling without actually buying? 

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Topics: The Observer XT, consumer behavior, retail, shopping behavior, market insights

Best reads of 2015

Posted by Natasja Bogers on Dec 31, 2015, 8:00 AM

It’s that time of year again. We’re nearing the end of 2015 and with only hours to go before kicking off a brand new year, we wanted to look back one more time. These are the best read blog posts on the Behavioral Research Blog in 2015!
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Topics: mice, FaceReader, horses, rats, consumer behavior, sport, 2015

What, Why and How to learn in a museum

Posted by Jacqueline Martinali on Dec 29, 2015, 2:00 PM

In the Netherlands we have a so called “museum card” which allows you to visit museums for free. In the last few years I visited quite a few of them together with my children. In Amsterdam we saw the ‘Nachtwacht’ in the Rijksmuseum, did science experiments at Nemo, and learned about how the sea has shaped our Dutch culture at The National Maritime Museum. We have also visited the ‘Openluchtmuseum’ (Netherlands Open Air Museum) in Arnhem several times, because this one is the closest to us. At this museum you can learn a lot about how people lived in the past, and the objects they used for cooking their meals, brewing beer, doing the laundry, and so on. Each and every time we visit this museum, my children and I discover new facts. It’s a great learning environment, but what do my children actually recall of these many museum visits?

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Topics: The Observer XT, parent-child interaction, video recording, developmental psychology, Wh-questions, coding behavior, transfer of information

How to analyze bird calls with UltraVox XT: A summer love on a spectrogram

Posted by Fabrizio Grieco on Dec 22, 2015, 12:00 AM

You may know that the recently-released UltraVox XT 3 is used to study ultrasound vocalizations, especially in rodents and bats. But the fact that it analyzes full-spectrum sound, together with the filter options and cool features like the spectrogram and the automatic call detection, makes it ideal for analyzing bird calls. Yours truly must admit that he is not fond of quantification of behavior at any cost, but this time he could not resist.

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Topics: birds, vocalizations, UltraVox XT

Zebrafish provide key insights into alcohol addiction

Posted by Guest blogger on Dec 11, 2015, 9:00 AM

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, at this year's Neuroscience I talked to someone from the Gerlai Lab at the University of Toronto (Ontario) who is involved in very interesting research on alcohol addiction. That person was Steven Tran, and I am very happy to say that he agreed to share a story on our Behavioral Research Blog. Take it away, Steven!

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, zebrafish, anxiety research, addiction

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