Case Studies

A selection of interesting research illustations from our large user base and beyond.

Automated home cage observations as a tool to measure the effects of wheel running on cage floor locomotion De Visser L, Van den Bos R and Spruijt B.M.

The paper introduces PhenoLab as a tool to measure the effects of wheel running on the time distribution and daily organization of cage floor locomotor activity in mice.  To study these effects, female C57BL/6 mice were assigned to either a running wheel group or a control group with no running wheel. Observations of home cage behavior and running wheel activity were continuously recorded during bo...
CatWalk: the next step in gait analysis

CatWalk: the next step in gait analysis Guido Koopmans (Erkrath, Germany)

Quantitative gait analysis is useful in objective assessment of walking ability as well as identifying the underlying causes for walking abnormalities in patients with cerebral palsy, Parkinson disease, stroke, head or spinal cord injury, and other neuromuscular problems. Over the years many different methods are developed to analyze gait in laboratory animals, ranging from scoring spontaneous open...
Behavioral analysis of transgenic mice overexpressing corticotropin-releasing hormone using The Observer and EthoVision.

Behavioral analysis of transgenic mice overexpressing corticotropin-releasing hormone using The Observer and EthoVision. Dirks A, Groenink L, Verdouw M, van der Gugten J and Olivier B

Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) plays a pivotal role in the response of an organism to various stressors. Furthermore, chronic elevated levels of CRH are implicated in human stress-related and affective disorders, including major depression. To gain more insight into the relationship between hyperactivity of the CRH system and associated neuroendocrine, autonomic, physiological and behavioral...

Monitoring feed pecking in chicks using Theme Martaresche M.

To gain more knowledge on the feed intake behavior of boiler chicks, Theme was used to evaluate whether a change in the physical characteristics of feed particles influenced the time pattern organization of their feed pecking behavior. Theme revealed that pecking at feed is composed of two distinct sets of acts:time-synchronized acts that are little affected by the size or the form of the pecked pa...

Monitoring feed pecking in chicks using Theme Martaresche M.

To gain more knowledge on the feed intake behavior of boiler chicks, Theme was used to evaluate whether a change in the physical characteristics of feed particles influenced the time pattern organization of their feed pecking behavior. Theme revealed that pecking at feed is composed of two distinct sets of acts:time-synchronized acts that are little affected by the size or the form of the pecked pa...

Motivation and ability to walk for a food reward in broilers Eddie Bokkers (Wageningen, The Netherlands)

Broilers are young chickens kept to produce poultry meat. They grow from 50g up to approximately 2.5kg in 6 weeks; their slaughter age. Fast growth and high body weight are associated with heart, respiration, and leg problems which influence their activity. The decrease in physical ability has been extensively studied. However, little is known about the motivation to show behavior. The distinction ...

Child eyetracking with a touchscreen at Newcastle University Dr Catherine O’Hanlon and Dr Jenny Read

At Newcastle University,  Dr Catherine O’Hanlon and Dr Jenny Read have been using an SMI RED50 to track children’s eye movements while they perform an experimental task using a touchscreen. This posed a few technical difficulties;The touchscreen displaying the stimuli had to be close enough to the child so that small arms could reach it. The touchscreen was mounted on an adjustable arm, making it e...
Dyadic Orienting and Joint Attention in Children with Autism

Dyadic Orienting and Joint Attention in Children with Autism Leekam, S. R. and Ramsden, C. A.

Children with autism have difficulties with joint attention. Previous theoretical accounts suggest that this problem is the consequence of a deficit in forming triadic representations. An alternative view is that the joint attention impairment is built on the foundation of difficulties in dyadic interaction.In this study we observed dyadic orienting and joint attention in 20 children with autism an...

Examining domestication effects on behavior in pigs and hens using The Observer Gustafsson M.

Domestication is the process by which animals that we keep in our farms today have been genetically changed from their ancestors.In this study the hypothesis that wild animals use a more costly behavioral strategy in comparison to domesticated animals is tested with The Observer XT 12. The premise of this hypothesis is that during domestication, humans provided animals with food and protection, whi...

Eye Movement and Interface Design Jon May, University of Sheffield*

The Cognitive Task Modelling Group at the University of Sheffield is currently working on an EPSRC-funded project modelling the perception and comprehension of dynamic displays in computer interface design.The project compares interfaces that follow design principals identified by the ICS model of film watching with interfaces in which these principals are flouted.Eye-movement data is collected by ...

Evaluation of Porsolt Swim Test activity using the Mobility parameter of EthoVision. Saskia Berndsen and Laus M. Broersen

Noldus recently developed a new feature in EthoVision 3.0: mobility detection. This parameter can be used to score the behavior of animals in the Porsolt Swim Test (PST) automatically.In ongoing research at Utrecht University, Saskia C. Berndsen and Laus M. Broersen tested this module and compared the results to data obtained by traditional hand scoring of the subjects from videotapes. In the exper...

Eye Movements in Sports Andrew Head, University of Roehampton

The SPARC group at the University of Roehampton is currently using iView X to monitor the eye-movements of sportsmen and sportswomen.The HED (helmet-mounted eye-tracking device) records the surroundings of the subject from his/her point of view and overlays a cursor to indicate gaze-position. The gaze-position overlay video is synchronised with video and audio output from other recording devices, s...
Remote site monitoring of predator activity.

Remote site monitoring of predator activity. Dr Jonathan Reynolds - Game Conservency Trust

At the Game Conservancy Trust, we work on predatory mammal species that - almost by definition - occur at low density relative to their prey, are smart, and are wary of larger predators like man. They are also nocturnal. One of our research tactics has been to attract these animals into contrived experimental situations in front of an automatic video camera, triggered by wireless PIR (passive infra...
Eyetrackers for MEG & fMRI use at Cardiffs new brain imaging laboratory

Eyetrackers for MEG & fMRI use at Cardiffs new brain imaging laboratory Prof. Krish Singh. Cardiff University

Cardiff University's new brain imaging laboratory, CUBRIC, is a state-of-the-art facility for both cognitive neuroscience research and clinically based applications of multi-modal neuroimaging. It houses a GE Signa HDx 3-Tesla MR system together with a 275-channel Magnetoencephalography (MEG) system from CTF. Both of these laboratories are fully equipped with associated technologies to support func...

fMRI Studies on Attention Deb Hall, University of Nottingham

The MRC Institute of Hearing Research is studying the brain networks involved in covert spatial orienting of attention across visual and auditory modalities using an fMRI scanner in the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre at the University of Nottingham.In a visual task, participants are presented with an object that moves in a circular trajectory and required to judge whether the object ...

High-quality feedback for elite athletes using SIMI Motion Dr Jeremy Moody, English Institute of Sport

At the EIS we are committed to providing state-of-the art facilities for elite athletes so that their training can have the maximum benefit.Using the SIMI Motion, Twinner and VidBack systems we have equipped our new facility in Newcastle with all the tools we need to assess athletes. We assess athletes as research subjects using motion analysis coupled with forceplates and improve their performance...

Improving the performance of the Scottish Rugby Union team using The Observer Dave McLean, SRU

At the SRU The Observer system has been used in two ways. Firstly it is an ideal tool for quantifying the performance of the whole team and allows us to identify strengths and weaknesses. Crucially, performance assessment can be linked directly to the activity of the opposing side helping us provide more accurate feedback.Secondly, the video highlights option allows us to provide players with posit...
Installation of cameras, wiring and hard-disk recording systems at the University of Cambridge

Installation of cameras, wiring and hard-disk recording systems at the University of Cambridge Professor Nicky Clayton of the Comparative Cognition Laboratory and Dr Nathan Emery of the Sub Dept of Animal Behaviour

A planned approachTracksys have provided The Observer and cameras to Prof. Clayton and Dr Emery for many years. Recently, as their groups have expanded and moved to new facilities, Tracksys has planned and installed their video systems. Currently there are 46 indoor cameras and a range of cameras for outdoor aviaries, including a remote controlled PTZ (Pan, Tilt & Zoom). Some cameras are perman...

Measuring what customers look at in the field using iView-X. Kevin Wilkinson. ID Magasin.

The effectiveness of visual advertising is influenced by a range of factors including content, location, height and image size, as well as the type of product and the client base for that product.At ID Magasin we use  to collect information about gaze position to provide feedback that improves the way advertising is structured. By quantifying what people actually look at when they view an advert we...
Monitoring Barbastelle bats in Norfolk

Monitoring Barbastelle bats in Norfolk Jane Harris of Kepwick Ecological Services works with Natural England

Jane Harris of Kepwick Ecological Services works with Natural England to provide annual counts of rare Barbastelle bats at their maternity roost in Paston Great Barn in Norfolk (http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/conservation/designations/nnr/pastonbarnnnr.aspx) . The Barbastelle is regarded as a woodland specialist roosting mainly in trees and the discovery of a maternity roost in a building...

The Emotional Impact of Video Games Jon Sykes, Glasgow Caledonian University

The eMotion laboratory at Glasgow Caledonian University was developed to study human emotion. as many methods of studying arousal and emotion involve invasive techniques, the laboratory is designed to maintain a high level of ecological validity by using technology that captures behaviours discretely and unobtrusively.The lab is currently being used to evaluate the emotional impact of video games. ...

The Observer; 'The Shock Of The New' Andy Barker and Clive Nancarrow. Bristol Business School.

In the last decade there have been a number of potentially significant technological innovations in qualitative marketing research. This study examined how recent technological innovations in one area - that of multimedia analysis - offers new scope to market researchers for the collection, analysis and presentation of qualitative data.The Observer XT 12 allows market researchers to do the followin...

Theme in behavioural neuroscience - Hormone-behaviour interaction Hirschenhauser, K; Frigerio, D; Grammer, K & Magnusson, M.

Theme was used to question the assumed direct effect of testosterone on men's sexual behaviour. A co-occurrence of testosterone peaks and sexual activity was observed more often in prospective fathers than in men who had no partner or did not want to have children with their current partner.Prospective fathers were also different from other social groups in that they had a higher frequency of patte...

Using EthoVision to study social interactions in rodents. Berry Spruijt, Thorwald Hol and Jacob Rousseau

Rats have a complex repertoire of social behaviours. In their natural habitat they live in groups, but may share resources such as food and water. In laboratory situations in the presence of a receptive female, male rats rapidly develop combative behaviours towards unfamiliar conspecifics. As social behaviour is an accessible "read-out system", it is often used for studying brain-behaviou...

Using EthoVision XT for studying object recognition in mice Jacob Raber & Theodore Benice (Portland USA).

The latest addition to the EthoVision product range is EthoVision XT, which is capable of tracking the nose point and tail base point of rats and mice. This feature makes EthoVision XT especially suitable for the object recognition and location recognition test. As beta testers for EthoVision XT, Jacob Raber and Theodor Benice used the program to analyze novel object and novel location recognition ...
Using The Observer in observational studies of children's cognitive and metacognitive development

Using The Observer in observational studies of children's cognitive and metacognitive development David Whitebread

I first became aware of The Observer when I met Bill Budenberg at the BPS Developmental Conference in 1996. At the time I was working on videos of childrens gaze when crossing roads. In 2002 I launched into a major observational study of metacognition and self-regulation in young children aged 3-5 years (the C.Ind.Le study). I was looking for a way of systematically analyzing well over a hundred ho...

Using UltraVox to measure rat pup ultrasound vocalizations as an anxiolytic or anxiogenic evaluation procedure. McNee M, Gleason D and McArthur R

Maternal separation of rat pups is an ethopharmacologically validated model of anxiety and is measured by the duration and frequency of ultrasound vocalizations (USVs) made by the pups during this separation. These cries occur between 35 and 45 kHz, and have been described as "distress vocalizations" or "isolation calls".In this article we describe the use of UltraVox in order t...

Video tracking of grasshopper nymphs Tim Gardiner, Ian Bland and Julian Hill (Chelmsford UK & Parkville Australia)

In the field, grasshopper nymphs may disperse from ‘spatially hostile’ homogeneous environments to heterogeneous habitats (longer grass) where there is adequate cover from predation or inclement weather. However, it is difficult to assess the velocity of walking and jumping movements of nymphs in the field, as accurate assessment of the distance moved and the dependence of behavior on the prevailin...

Video tracking of marine invertebrate larvae using EthoVision 3.0 Maréchal JP, Hellio C, Sebire M and Clare A.

The tropical barnacle, Balanus amphitrite, is an economically important fouling species (it settles on natural and artificial submerged surfaces) with a short generation time and larvae that are relatively easy to culture in the laboratory. These attributes have contributed to its acceptance as a model species for larval settlement studies.The settlement stage larva - the cyprid - measures approxim...

What visual stimuli do premier league university batsmen use to anticipate ball delivery? Jonny Cater supported by Matt Johnson and James Fisher

Bowling speeds vary between 75 and 100mph, leaving batsmen with less that 0.5 sec. to react after the ball is released. This study investigated the visual cues that top- and lower-order batsmen use during a bowlers run-up and also the degree to which they can be distracted.Visual attention in top- and lower-order batsmen was assessed using using the iView-X mobile eyetracker. Batsmen were shown vid...

Using EthoVision to investigate the behaviour of insect pests Dr Steve Belmain. Pest Ecologist - Natural Resources Institute

At the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) of the University of Greenwich EthoVision is being used as a tool to understand the chemical ecology and behaviour of various insect pests.This includes the chemical ecology of predator-prey interactions between Prostephanus truncatus and Teretrius nigrescens. The system is also used to examine the photo-response behaviour of the deathwatch beetle, Xestobium...