Students Valeria Medina Ramirez and Carlos Gomez Vega, students of the Faculty of Sciences of the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosi (UASLP) in Mexico, developed a motion tracking system based on computer vision.
In an interview with the News Agency Conacyt Ramirez Medina said that “the objective of this research is to create a computer vision system to evaluate the behavior of small rodents and places varying lighting conditions.”
This work was performed at the Laboratory of Functional Neuroanatomy and Biological Rhythms faculty, where observations are made in the male rat. Using a webcam VX-1000 placed on the cage containing food and drinking, rodents observations were made for periods of time.
The program image analysis was performed in Processing, open source software and free distribution. Regarding the analysis, Ramirez said that Medina able to detect changes in the sequence of images due to movement, “probability to calculate the center of the image was used; however, we encountered some obstacles, such as lighting the cage or the size of it, “he added.
With this technique, different behaviors were observed in rodents exposed to light-darkness and light-light protocols on equal terms.
This research was developed under the guidance of doctors Alfonso Alba, Martin Mendez and Roberto Salgado, teachers of the institution. It was also published on the 38th National Congress of Biomedical, where the authors presented the following results: the developed system can work day and night (in this case requires red light) is robust to different lighting conditions tested, is low cost, easy to install and is finally platform.
For a next step it is planned to test the rodent varying the environment, adjusting to two different environment: open field and maze, as well as increase the image analysis to achieve generate actograma rodent behavior