LabeoTech

Behavioral

Behavioral experiments are an important part of research. Although behavioral setup are relatively simple, they are also very time consuming to install and optimize to provide reliable, and reproductive results. Labeo Technologies offers plug and play solutions, ready to use that will save precious resources and time to any lab. All systems are modular and compatible with each other. A visual stimulation setup could be easily coupled with brain imaging and a reward system. All our systems can be customer-specific.

 

Many test can be implemented, here is an non-exhaustive list [1] of behavioral testing found here from the university of Wisconsin-Madison

 

List of Behavioral Tests

  • Accelerating rotarod
  • Audiogenic seizure
  • Balance Beam
  • Elevated Plus Maze
  • Fear Conditioning
  • Forced Swim Test
  • Grip Strength
  • Inverted Screen
  • Light-Dark Exploration
  • Marble Burying
  • Metabolic Cages
  • Miss-Step Running Wheels
  • Morris Water Maze
  • Novel Object Recognition
  • Object Placement
  • Open Field Arena
  • Passive Avoidance
  • Pre-Pulse Inhibition
  • Rotometers
  • Running Wheels
  • Thermal Sensitivity
  • Treadscan
  • Ultra-Sonic Vocalizations
  • Water T Maze
  • Wire Suspension

Tasks

One might want to evaluate the effect of age, disease or drug on fine motor skills. Camera-based systems can provide pertinent data but are limited in the time and space domain. Also, post-processing of the data to extract the desired parameters requires time and resources. Labeotech has develop a system which measures the position of a lever with a 0.6 degrees resolution, increasing the ability to detect small movements not perceptible through camera-based systems. Motor tasks can also be used as a feedback for other systems. For example, one could deliver a reward when a certain task is accomplished. Reach task can also be accomplished using the lever. More details are available in the dedicated page of the lever system here. Preprogrammed tasks, specific to a subject, can also be implemented. 

Stimuli

Many stimulus can be used to measure responses to the environment. Visual stimulations are one of them. From very classic drifting grating and retinal mapping to complex natural image stimulus, the synchronicity is important to the experiment success. Microsecond and millisecond timings are essential to achieve to make sure none of the measured response is affected by system latency. At Labeotech, we have worked hard to make sure all our system are synchronized and working in harmony towards reliable data acquisition. A Psychopy[2] integration with Labeotech behavioral products is available in a fully integrated system which doesn’t rely on other devices to achieve the required timing. A feedback (lick) can be used in order to reward (water) the small animal in discriminatory task. Binocular and monocular visual stimulation can also be achieved.

Video Tracking

Tracking algorithm have been in vogue for the last decade with the increased power of computer and easier implementation of GPU based processing. Although tracking algorithm like DeepLabCut [3] are widely used in the scientific community, their usage can be overwhelming for a non-programmer user. Most of the time, simpler tracking solutions answer researcher needs and provides reliable results with less computational resources and easier setup. Labeo Technologies offers a wide variety of customer-specific solution for personalized algorithm or custom hardware to perform video tracking.

Below is an example of a 900 Hz video acquisition using the optogenetic and behavioral add-ons on our OiS200 imaging device. The brain was stimulated in different regions using a laser. Paw movement was acquired and processed using a custom algorithm. A map was made using the movement amplitude at a fixed laser power. In this example, the hardware, acquisition software, and post-processing algorithm were provided by Labeo Technologies.

 
Another example of video tracking algorithm for eye-tracking. It can  precisely measure the position, size and direction of the eye. These measurements were crucial to our customer in order to measure opto-cinetic reflex.

Home Cage Monitoring

Monitoring animals in their own environment eliminates stress and allows for longer testing periods. No handling bias are introduced. It is possible to collect “big data” with little effort and easy setup using the home cage monitoring line of product.  Over the years, many cage enrichment have been developed and can monitor small animal behavior, respiration rate, heart rate, circadian cycle, weight and activity. These metrics are direct indicator of depression, anxiety, drug side-effects and animal well-being in general. We designed a tunnel that measures weight and activity, a lick counter and a water dispenser. These devices were customer-inspired and are in use in many laboratories across the world. We also offer a voluntary head-fix system that produce hundreds of hours of  brain imaging data per month. Figures below display mouse circadian cycle and weight measured automatically with no user interaction.

  1. Mouse behavioral tests. Waisman Center. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2022, here.
  2.  Home – PsychoPy v3.0. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2022, here.
  3.  Deeplabcut. The Mathis Lab of Adaptive Motor Control. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2022, here.