Behavioral Research Blog

Observing monkey behavior – cracking the nut

Posted by G. Smit on Apr 16, 2013

We already know some monkeys display above average intelligence. One way by which we can tell is their use of tools. Behavioral studies have shown that capuchin monkeys use boulders and logs as anvils upon which they can crush nuts. Furthermore, these monkeys have demonstrated that they are able to identify hammer stones best for cracking, and nuts that are easy to crack.

Photo courtesy of Barth Wright.

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Topics: The Observer XT, video observation, coding schemes, ethogram, monkey, stationary research

Drunken mice get aggressive on Alzheimer’s drugs

Posted by G. Smit on Aug 16, 2012

Will there ever be a cure for alcoholism? Well, some laboratory studies show that certain drugs might stop the cravings. But they might also cause serious side-effects such as aggressive behavior.

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Topics: mice, The Observer XT, animal behavior research, social behavior research, coding schemes, stationary research

How to collect high quality data in an observation lab

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Oct 3, 2011

Observational research is often best carried out in a stationary lab. Controlled conditions and accurate data recording are key in scientific success and a stationary lab provides these controlled conditions while allowing scientists to observe test participants unobtrusively. It is possible to combine video observations, physiological data collection, facial expression analysis, sensory testing, and more in a lab, and thus a myriad of different experiment setups and designs based on the type and position of cameras, microphones, eye trackers webcams: whatever is necessary to gather rich and meaningful data (see the inter-observer agreement percentages below).

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Topics: The Observer XT, emotion recognition, video observation, Observation lab, consumer behavior, living labs, stationary research

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