Behavioral Research Blog

EthoVision XT and the open field test

Posted by Guest blogger on Feb 19, 2016

We recently teamed up with a new partner, Maze Engineers, to extend our portfolio of video tracking solutions. They also have a great blog, and today we would like to share one of their recent posts with you. Find the original article here and their blog here. Thanks, Maze Engineers, for letting us share this post with our readers!

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, open field test, elevated plus maze, Maze Engineers

Dementia symptoms following surgery

Posted by Guest blogger on Sep 3, 2015

Characterizing postoperative cognitive dysfunction with a novel rat-model.

This week we have a guest post by Iris Hovens. She has done some really interesting research into the consequences of surgery in terms of reduced memory and concentration problems. This is especially a concern for elderly people. We are very happy that Iris has so kindly agreed to write about her research on our blog. At the end of this post, you will also find a link to a free white paper about this research! Thank you, Iris!

In the Netherlands, yearly more than 400.000 patients aged over 60 undergo surgery. Although the surgeries are aimed at improving health and well-being, ten percent of these older surgery patients will develop dementia-like symptoms, such as reduced memory and concentration and problems with planning and information processing. This postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) seriously affects the life of patients and their near friends and relatives, as it is associated with a reduced quality of life, increased dependency on social care and an increased risk of lasting mental and functional disability.
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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, learning and memory, open field test, novel object test, dementia

Revealing the secret social role of the CA2 hippocampus

Posted by Abbe H. Macbeth, PhD on Jul 23, 2015

Aggressive behavior is typically adaptive for most species in the animal kingdom. Examples of this can be seen in maternal aggression to protect one’s young, and defense of a home territory; both of these contribute to the survival of an individual, and the species as a whole. But how is aggressive behavior mediated in the brain? Recent work indicates that the hippocampus in general, and the CA2 region in particular, is a crucial neural component in mediating social recognition and aggression. What CA2-specific mechanisms allow for such regulation?

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, The Observer XT, social behavior research, open field test, anxiety research, aggression, resident-intruder test, zero maze

A new method to evaluate if dogs are suitable for IED bomb detection

Posted by Linda Hoekstra on May 7, 2015

Military dogs, especially improvised explosive device (IED)-detection dogs, work in war zones under harsh conditions. Being attuned to fear-inducing sounds and recovering quickly is a critical requirement. Margaret Gruen and her colleagues recently investigated a new method to assess sound induced fear and anxiety in candidate IED-detection dogs – specifically, Labrador retrievers.  

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Topics: EthoVision XT, dogs, open field test, anxiety research, physiology, fear research

Side effects of L-DOPA investigated in parkinsonian rats

Posted by G. Smit on Feb 16, 2015

Just recently, I blogged about a Parkinson’s disease (PD) study that compared the locomotion of Parkinsonian rats to those of human patients using automated gait analysis. Following up on that, this time I would like to highlight two recent Parkinson’s studies that use video tracking for their behavioral analysis. These studies specifically investigate the long-term effects of L-DOPA or levopoda, a common clinical treatment for PD, with which many patients struggle.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, Parkinson's Disease, open field test, PhenoTyper, behavior recognition

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

Posted by G. Smit on Dec 30, 2014

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

6 things you must consider to improve your open field testing

Posted by G. Smit on Jun 12, 2014

Last week we talked about the new publication by Berry Spruijt and his colleagues in Journal of Neuroscience Methods, in which they tell us about the limitations of classical behavioral tests such as the open field. The article focused particularly on the great lack of reliability and validity in the use of these tests within and across laboratories. So what can we do to fix this problem? Here are six recommendations the authors list to improve the translational and predictive value of behavioral readouts:

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, open field test, rats, PhenoTyper

The do’s and don’ts in behavioral testing: improve your open field test

Posted by G. Smit on Jun 5, 2014

Scientists have been performing open field tests for  quite some time now. For eighty years, to be exact. And over the years it has become one of the most popular tests in rodent behavioral research, as it allows the researcher to study (locomotor) activity, exploration, and anxiety all in one test environment. So what’s not to love? It’s easy, short, and straight-forward. Plus, it is a highly validated test…or is it?

In their recent review in Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Berry Spruijt (Professor of Ethology and Animal Welfare, Utrecht University, the Netherlands) and his colleagues tell us that, like most of the popular classical tests, it is actually not well validated. This is a well-known problem in behavioral research. In fact, specific for the open field test, there seems to be a lack of reliability and validity. Despite all the efforts labs put into standardizing their methods and procedures, there is still a great amount of variability in behavioral results within and across laboratories.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, open field test, rats, PhenoTyper

10 Reasons to visit Neuroscience 2013

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Nov 7, 2013

Do you attend conferences? Imagine networking with 30,000 fellow neuroscientists in beautiful San Diego, California. Now add the sun-soaked beaches (yes, even in November), a 0% chance of rain, many social events, and 15,000 scientific presentations: that’s why you should attend Neuroscience 2013! Not convinced yet? Here are 10 reasons why you should attend Neuroscience 2013!

(1) Beautiful San Diego

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, The Observer XT, fish, drosophila, zebrafish, DanioVision, Track3D, Tracking insects, Animal 3D tracking, open field test, CatWalk XT, PhenoTyper, T-maze, bottom dwelling, top 10, neuroscience, SfN

Mice with Alzheimer’s disease walk well but remember poorly

Posted by Olga Krips on Jul 18, 2013

Modeling Alzheimer’s disease
A large number of genetically engineered mouse models are available to study different aspects of Alzheimer’s disease. APP/PS1 knock-in mice are mice in which two genes associated with the disease are inserted at a specific place in the genome. Much is known about the development of the disease in these mice. But until recently, there was less detailed knowledge on behavioral changes in APP/PS1 knock-in mice that are associated with the disease.


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Topics: EthoVision XT, Morris water maze, mice, Alzheimer's disease, Video tracking, animal behavior research, exploratory behavior, open field test, anxiety research, elevated plus maze, locomotion, novel object test

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