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J Neurosci Methods. 2014 Aug 30;234:147-52. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.05.022. Epub 2014 May 27.

A real-time 3D video tracking system for monitoring primate groups.

Author information

1
Centre de Neuroscience Cognitive, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 69675 Bron, France; Département de Biologie Humaine, Université Lyon 1, 69622 Villeurbanne, France. Electronic address: sballest@isc.cnrs.fr.
2
Centre de Neuroscience Cognitive, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 69675 Bron, France; Département de Biologie Humaine, Université Lyon 1, 69622 Villeurbanne, France.

Abstract

To date, assessing the solitary and social behaviors of laboratory primates' colonies relies on time-consuming manual scoring methods. Here, we describe a real-time multi-camera 3D tracking system developed to measure the behavior of socially-housed primates. Their positions are identified using non-invasive color markers such as plastic collars, thus allowing to also track colored objects and to measure their usage. Compared to traditional manual ethological scoring, we show that this system can reliably evaluate solitary behaviors (foraging, solitary resting, toy usage, locomotion) as well as spatial proximity with peers, which is considered as a good proxy of their social motivation. Compared to existing video-based commercial systems currently available to measure animal activity, this system offers many possibilities (real-time data, large volume coverage, multiple animal tracking) at a lower hardware cost. Quantitative behavioral data of animal groups can now be obtained automatically over very long periods of time, thus opening new perspectives in particular for studying the neuroethology of social behavior in primates.

KEYWORDS:

Behavioral automation; Non-human primate; Object play; Position tracking; Social behavior; Triangulation

PMID:
24875622
DOI:
10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.05.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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