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Compact video monitoring systems for large-scale mouse ethology

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — Poster Session I

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
FAES Terrace


  • G Salem
  • J Krynitsky
  • M Garmendia
  • S Anderson
  • B Wang
  • A Nilacantan
  • J Pedersen
  • C Schultz
  • T Talbot
  • W Bennett
  • G Dold
  • JB Mitchell
  • AV Kravitz
  • JU Dennis
  • T Pohida


In recent years, researchers and laboratory support companies have recognized the utility of automated profiling of laboratory mouse activity and behavior in the home-cage. Video-based systems have emerged as a viable solution for non-invasive mouse monitoring. Wider use of vision systems for ethology studies requires the development of scalable hardware seamlessly integrated with vivarium ventilated racks. Compact hardware combined with automated video analysis would greatly impact animal science and animal-based research. Automated vision systems, free of bias and intensive labor, can accurately assess rodent activity (e.g., well-being) and behavior 24-7 during research studies within primary home-cages. We present two compact designs that integrate within two commonly used ventilated racks on the NIH campus, specifically, the Thoren Caging Inc Maxi-Miser rack and the Allentown Inc NexGen rack. We also present novel methods for analysis of video acquired through such specialized hardware. Our algorithms estimate the three dimensional posture of mouse from monocular images. We also present results from automated behavior analysis to detect nine pre-defined behaviors in continuous video. Overall, the methods presented offer novel approaches for accurate activity and behavior estimation practical for large-scale use of vision systems in animal facilities.

Category: Social and Behavioral Sciences