Animal Behavior


Dowling Lab: Projected images of drifting gratings are used to drive the visual optokinetic response of larval zebrafish. The response of multiple fish (6-12) can be recorded and analyzed in real time.


Dowling Lab: Software used to generate visual stimulus, record and analyze eye movements.


Dowling Lab: To minimize user effort, software automatically detects the heads of all fish present.


Dowling Lab: Software running off-line provides an automatic and precise measurement of eye position, temporal registered to the visual stimulus.


Dowling Lab: Equipment designed to simultaneous monitor the swimming behavior of up to 180 fish in response to varying illumination conditions.


Olveczky Lab: Designed and fabricated the first of many experimental holding chambers for zebra finches. The design is inexpensive and simple to reproduce. The removable panels make it easy to modify and clean.


Olveczky Lab: A 12 port water distribution system that is part of an automated rodent behavioral conditioning station.


Olveczky Lab: Working with Olveczky lab members, custom isolation chambers were designed and constructed to segregate conditioning cages. Water ports can be seen along the back of the chrome rack.


Olveczky Lab: Software records the vocalization and neural responses of finches. Time buffered data logging is triggered on vocalization (white trace, other traces are recordings from neurons located in brain areas involved in song production).


Olveczky Lab: By mounting a tiny microphone on the head of a zebra finch, it is possible to minimize variations in song recordings that arise from changes in the position and orientation of the bird. A miniature speaker directly driving the bird’s auditory system can alter what the animal hears without affecting acoustic recordings.


Hoekstra Lab:  We have assisted the Hoekstra lab by fabricating “ant farms” of various dimensions. Finding the smallest enclosure that maintains natural mouse digging behavior is critical to lowering cost and space constraints during large scale assays.


Hoekstra Lab:  A larger "ant" farm.


Schier Lab: The chamber shown allows machine vision software to provide an addressable, controlled, mild, electrical stimulus to each of 96 wells containing a larval zebra fish. By tickling the fish in this manner, the Schier lab can explore the effects of altered sleep patterns on behavior.


Nakayama Lab: Pressure sensitive keypad logs not only the responses of human subjects but also the temporal force profile of their report. The Nakayama lab is hoping to find correlations between subject’s certainty (task difficulty) and their motor output.


Uchida Lab: Two of many computer-controlled 16 channel olfactometers capable of producing precise mixtures of odors and variable concentrations. They are part of a larger system of hardware and software produce by the Neuroengineering facility designed to measure the behavior of rodents in a nose-poke olfactory discrimination task.

Uchida Lab: A rodent behavioral chamber designed to measure the subject’s value of immediate and delayed reward. Variable numbers of food pellets can be delivered to each food window, access to which is under temporal control. Retractable levers report the animal’s response.


Uchida Lab: Housed behind the chamber are the pellet dispensers and USB computer interface.


Hensch Lab: Borrowing technology from the Uchida lab, rodent nose-poke chambers have been modified to assess auditory discrimination in rodents reared in the presence of controlled acoustic environments.


Hensch Lab: New software was required to work with Hensch auditory paradigm.

Hensch Lab: Software to control the auditory environment during rearing of rodent pups.


Zhang Lab: Equipment for measuring the turning behavior of C. elegans in the presence of odorants. The leftmost hose maintains stage temperature while the right hose delivers odor laden air to a chamber that houses the worm suspended in a hanging water droplet. Responses are recorded by the camera underneath.


Zhang Lab: Worm tracking “microscope”. Machine vision software maintains the camera above a target-worm within a 14” x 14” arena. Other custom software analyzes body motion, speed, turn probability, etc.


Zhang Lab: Image of a “tracked” C. elegans. Length ~1mm.


Zhang Lab: This 5 Mpix GigE camera is part of a multi-worm tracking system. It allows the social behavior of many worms (~100) to be recorded and precisely measured.


Zhang Lab: A fraction of the F.O.V. from the multi-worm tracker. Individuals are easily resolved.


Zhang Lab: Off-line analysis automatically tracks the movements of each worm and saves a series of small movies centered on each individual.


Zhang Lab: A custom GUI allows human input to “untangle” worm collision events.

Zhang Lab: An ultra-bright LED used activate halorhodopsin in genetically altered worms. The lamp is mounted behind a sapphire window to allow incorporation into the hanging drop assay shown previously.


Buckner Lab/MRI facility: Patch panel maintains shielding while allowing cabling to reach into the scan area.


Buckner Lab/MRI facility: Patient response button boxes, scan trigger hardware and video presentation system were built or installed by the Neurotechnology facility.


Buckner Lab/MRI facility: Human subjects view images projected onto the custom fabricated screen visible in the magnet bore at the end of this tunnel.


Buckner Lab/MRI facility: Modified lens optics allow this projector to generate a 14” image after 12’ of throw.


Samuel Lab: The Samuel lab needed a 10” x 10” agar gel that linearly varied in ionic concentration along one dimension. After many prototypes, we settled on this undulating open-tube design. A gradient mixer delivers a flow of hot agar that temporally varies in salt concentration. The solution is fed through the tube, mapping the time variation into a spatial map.


Samuel Lab: A gasket, upper-plate, heater, and clamps seal the open-tube structure to allow for gel pouring.


Samuel Lab: In a secondary step, a 1mm agar film is poured on top of the first casting. The system shown here was replaced by a better technique; however the dye that was present in the gradient mixer clearly illustrates its function.


Samuel Lab: An actual experiment tracking the response of multiple worms in the presence of a gradient. Apparent surface imperfections are simply beads of condensed water that result from the humidity of the chamber.

Animal behavior provides a non-invasive measure of neural computation. After all, reacting to stimuli is what nervous systems evolved to do. We have designed equipment to stimulate and record behavior from a variety of organisms. 

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