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J Neurosci Methods. 2008 Jun 15;171(1):153-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2008.01.027. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Automated detection and analysis of foraging behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92093-0407, USA.


Foraging is a rapid, side-to-side movement of the nose generated by Caenorhabditis elegans as it explores its environment. In this paper, we present an automated method to detect and analyze foraging behavior of C. elegans in a video sequence. Several morphological image-processing methods are used to locate the precise nose position of the worm in each image. Then foraging events are detected by measuring the bending angle of the nose and investigating the overall bending curve using periodograms. We measure foraging-related parameters which have not previously been studied. The algorithm has applications in classifying and characterizing genetic mutations associated with this behavior.

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