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A method for tracking rats in a complex and completely dark environment using computerized video analysis

Dielenberg, Robert A., Halasz, Paul and Day, Trevor A. 2006, A method for tracking rats in a complex and completely dark environment using computerized video analysis, Journal of neuroscience methods, vol. 158, no. 2, pp. 279-286, doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2006.05.024.

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Title A method for tracking rats in a complex and completely dark environment using computerized video analysis
Author(s) Dielenberg, Robert A.
Halasz, Paul
Day, Trevor A.
Journal name Journal of neuroscience methods
Volume number 158
Issue number 2
Start page 279
End page 286
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2006-12-15
ISSN 0165-0270
1872-678X
Keyword(s) computerized video analysis
behavioral tracking
ethoexperimental neuroscience
enriched environment
infrared camera
LabVIEW
Kalman filter
ROI
Summary The automated tracking of rodents in open field environments has become a standard laboratory technique for the investigation of the effects of drugs, novel therapeutic interventions and genetic mutations on behavior. Here, we develop an extension of this technique that permits tracking in full darkness through a complex (‘enriched’) environment comprising naturalistic structures such as tunnels and hides. To eliminate unwanted light reflections and tape noise, we developed a unique video filter that combines the advantages of differential and non-differential filtering. This filter enabled the tracking of albino rats against a relatively dark background to an accuracy of approximately 97% compared to hand tracking of the same animal, irrespective of whether the rat was inside a hide box or tunnel or out in the open field. The system as a whole can be easily deployed using standard PCs and inexpensive infrared cameras and lights.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2006.05.024
Field of Research 060199 Biochemistry and Cell Biology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, Elsevier B.V.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30044500

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment
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