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Journal of Neuroscience Methods 162 (2007) 171179 Computer automated movement detection for the
 

Summary: Journal of Neuroscience Methods 162 (2007) 171179
Computer automated movement detection for the
analysis of behavior
Roseanna B. Ramazani, Harish R. Krishnan,
Susan E. Bergeson, Nigel S. Atkinson
Section of Neurobiology and Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Received 16 June 2006; received in revised form 9 January 2007; accepted 10 January 2007
Abstract
Currently, measuring ethanol behaviors in flies depends on expensive image analysis software or time intensive experimental observation. We
have designed an automated system for the collection and analysis of locomotor behavior data, using the IEEE 1394 acquisition program dvgrab,
the image toolkit ImageMagick and the programming language Perl. In the proposed method, flies are placed in a clear container and a computer-
controlled camera takes pictures at regular intervals. Digital subtraction removes the background and non-moving flies, leaving white pixels where
movement has occurred. These pixels are tallied, giving a value that corresponds to the number of animals that have moved between images. Perl
scripts automate these processes, allowing compatibility with high-throughput genetic screens. Four experiments demonstrate the utility of this
method, the first showing heat-induced locomotor changes, the second showing tolerance to ethanol in a climbing assay, the third showing tolerance
to ethanol by scoring the recovery of individual flies, and the fourth showing a mouse's preference for a novel object. Our lab will use this method
to conduct a genetic screen for ethanol-induced hyperactivity and sedation, however, it could also be used to analyze locomotor behavior of any
organism.
2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Ethanol; Drosophila melanogaster; Tolerance; Locomotor behavior; Movement analysis; Genetic screen; Mammal

  

Source: Atkinson, Nigel - Section of Neurobiology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine