Behavioral Research Blog

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

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 2015 – Saying goodbye

Posted by G. Smit on Oct 22, 2015

Wednesday, October 21st – I have been talking to so many interesting people around here. Not just researchers, but other vendors as well, such as our partner company Inscopix. It was great meeting some of the people from the company that made an important contribution to the research presented at our satellite symposium on Monday. I think there is a bright future ahead in combining live brain imaging with video tracking technology and I hope to be reporting about it more in the near future.

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Topics: mice, Alzheimer's disease, zebrafish, Danio rerio, home cage, PhenoTyper, 2015, conferences, SfN

Neuroscience 2015 – Getting into the flow of things

Posted by G. Smit on Oct 21, 2015

Tuesday, October 20th – I never thought I would be saying this by day three, but I am actually kind of getting used to how this works. I am absorbing all of the information like a sponge and it is apparently quite a big sponge, because I am ready to absorb more!

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Danio rerio, optogenetics, PhenoTyper, 2015, neuroscience, SfN

Neuroscience 2015 – Baby steps

Posted by G. Smit on Oct 19, 2015

Sunday, October 18th - After helping out my colleagues set up the booth on Saturday, Sunday was my first ‘actual’ SfN day. As a first-timer, I tried to prepare for Neuroscience 2015, but quickly found that you really cannot. It is overwhelming – in a good way. It is like a playground for scientists and anyone interested in what goes on in the brain. And even though there are enough people here to fill a city, it feels like a welcoming community.

Spending the energy

There is so much going on, that it’s hard to decide what booth to see, which lecture to go to, or which poster to visit.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Danio rerio, DanioVision, CatWalk XT, PhenoTyper, ErasmusLadder, automated tube test, 2015, neuroscience

Mice in the spotlight: why you should perform your tests in a home cage

Posted by G. Smit on Aug 6, 2015

Mouse models have proven to be essential in discovering the neurological underpinnings of diseases and to the development of a deeper understanding of genotype-phenotype relations. Behavioral phenotyping of these mice is very important, evidenced by the variety of tests that have been described in literature. Unfortunately, many of these tests are susceptible to bias, for example, testing in a novel environment. Bias can also result from handling animals prior to the tests, which can induce artificial behaviors that confound results.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, learning and memory, anxiety research, home cage, PhenoTyper

Prof. Berry Spruijt says goodbye (but not really)

Posted by G. Smit on Apr 21, 2015

Did you discover something new today? This was the question Prof. Berry Spruijt used to get from his kids on a daily basis. As little ones, they might have expected their father to come home with the Nobel Prize every day.

While we normally focus on a specific study or type of research or research tools, today’s post is a little different. Prof. Dr. Berry M. Spruijt recently retired from his position at Utrecht University. I had the honor of attending the symposium that was organized to reflect on and celebrate his career.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, animal behavior research, animal welfare, PhenoTyper, UltraVox XT

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

A high-throughput method to screen natural behavior of mice

Posted by Olga Krips on Nov 13, 2014

Standard behavioral tests

Traditional standard tests with rats or mice to study human diseases or to test drugs generally take minutes to a few hours. A combination of these tests can give valuable information about the behavior of the rodents. However, these tests are carried out immediately after human interference. Therefore, the behavior of the animals may not be natural and spontaneous. To study spontaneous behavior, long-term studies in the rodents’ home cage are more suitable [1].

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Topics: EthoVision XT, mice, Video tracking, home cage, PhenoTyper

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

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