Video tracking in the extreme: video analysis for nocturnal underwater animal movement.
ABSTRACT Computer analysis of video footage is one option for recording locomotor behavior for a range of neurophysiological and behavioral studies. This technique is reasonably well established and accepted, but its use for some behavioral analyses remains a challenge. For example, filming through water can lead to reflection, and filming nocturnal activity can reduce resolution and clarity of filmed images. The aim of this study was to develop a noninvasive method for recording nocturnal activity in aquatic decapods and test the accuracy of analysis by video tracking software. We selected crayfish, Cherax destructor, because they are often active at night, they live underwater, and data on their locomotion is important for answering biological and physiological questions such as how they explore and navigate. We constructed recording arenas and filmed animals in infrared light. Wethen compared human observer data and software-acquired values. In this article, we outline important apparatus and software issues to obtain reliable computer tracking.
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ABSTRACT: The use of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) in neurobehavioral research is rapidly expanding. The present large-scale study applied the newest video-tracking and data-mining technologies to further examine zebrafish anxiety-like phenotypes. Here, we generated temporal and spatial three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of zebrafish locomotion, globally assessed behavioral profiles evoked by several anxiogenic and anxiolytic manipulations, mapped individual endpoints to 3D reconstructions, and performed cluster analysis to reconfirm behavioral correlates of high- and low-anxiety states. The application of 3D swim path reconstructions consolidates behavioral data (while increasing data density) and provides a novel way to examine and represent zebrafish behavior. It also enables rapid optimization of video tracking settings to improve quantification of automated parameters, and suggests that spatiotemporal organization of zebrafish swimming activity can be affected by various experimental manipulations in a manner predicted by their anxiolytic or anxiogenic nature. Our approach markedly enhances the power of zebrafish behavioral analyses, providing innovative framework for high-throughput 3D phenotyping of adult zebrafish behavior.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e17597. · 4.09 Impact Factor