Navigation Links
Research maze puts images on floor, where rodents look
Date:2/26/2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] A rodent in a maze is a staple even a stereotype of experimental psychology research. But the maze in the lab of Rebecca Burwell, professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown University, is not your grandfather's apparatus. In a new video article published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments, Burwell's research group demonstrates in full detail how the maze can be used to perform automated visual cognitive research tasks with great efficiency.

The article is available here: http://www.jove.com/video/51316/automated-visual-cognitive-tasks-for-recording-neural-activity-using

The maze is part real and part virtual. There are actual walls often in the shape of a giant piece of farfalle but researchers can project any imagery they want onto the floor from below. The use of digital projections makes the maze versatile, but using the floor for projections makes it particularly well-designed for rodent subjects.

"We've known since Lashley's classic studies on the mechanisms of vision that rats pay more attention to stimuli presented near the ground, but the field has persisted in presenting vertical 2-D images or 3-D objects," Burwell said. "What's new is the idea that presentation of images to the ground is the best way to present stimuli to rats and mice. Rodents do not have a fovea [a small depression in the retina where visual acuity is highest] like primates do, but they do have more retinal ganglion cells and photoreceptors in the upper retina, indicating that they can see items in the lower visual field better."

So while human subjects participating in visual psychology experiments look forward at a screen, for instance and explore by looking around, the equivalent for a mouse or rat is to look down and explore by moving around.

The system makes a real difference in the speed with which rats learn tasks in the maze, Burwell said. In different experiments, the article notes, rats have learned to respond properly to visual stimuli in a fourth to a sixth the number of trials when stimuli were projected onto the floor rather than onto walls.

While rodents behave in the maze, they are tracked with an overhead camera and software that monitors their behavior. Implanted neural sensors in the rodents' brains allow for precise recording of brain activity during sessions so that it can be correlated with behavior.

Implants also allow for delivery of a rewarding stimulus. Rewards sent directly to the brain can be more effective than food rewards, Burwell said, because rats can be rewarded in the moment of desired performance, and they don't become satiated.

Burwell first published a paper about the floor projection maze in 2009 and has been using it ever since. She owns the intellectual property and said a company is interested in licensing it.

"For anyone interested in using rats or mice as a model for visual information processing, presenting the information on the floor makes good sense behaviorally and biologically," she said.

The Brown University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee must approve research protocols involving animals, including the floow projection maze.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Research links risky behaviors of gambling and sex
2. Penn researchers show nuclear stiffness keeps stem cells and cancer cells in place
3. CWRU researchers find byproducts of bacteria-causing gum disease incite oral cancer growth
4. Researchers make the invisible visible
5. GW researcher finds gene therapy a promising tool for cardiac regeneration
6. MD Anderson researcher uncovers some of the ancient mysteries of leprosy
7. Researchers look for culprit behind oral health problems in HIV-positive patients
8. American Heart Association awards Loyola $438,740 for cardiac research
9. UT Southwestern launches Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
10. Tel Aviv University scientists honored for proposals in melanoma research
11. Clemson researchers develop sticky nanoparticles to fight heart disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... Boca Raton, FL (PRWEB) , ... February 12, ... ... nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to funding innovative lymphoma research and serving ... patient services – hosted over 250 members of South Florida’s philanthropic community at ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... As a former television executive, owner Tal ... and no time to decompress, Rabinowitz found herself drawn to a casual meditation class ... impact on her life, implementing a 20-minute-per-day meditation practice with her team. After her ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Itopia, ... announced the integration of Clarity Intelligence Platform (CIP) into Cielo®, a discovery, migration ... business intelligence (BI) to their small and medium business (SMB) clients. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... The Jones Agency, a family owned insurance company with ... a cooperative charity drive with the Tarrant Area Food Bank in the hopes of ... families in need, the Tarrant County Food Bank offers hope and security to the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Donor Network West, the organ procurement organization that ... partnership with San Ramon Regional Medical Center. Under the collaboration, the first of its ... to accommodate a more certain time frame for donor families for the recovery of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: IPHS ), a leading international producer ... will host a live conference call on Tuesday, February 23, ... and full year 2015 results. --> ... and full year results will be issued on Monday, February ... --> The conference call can be accessed ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016   HeartWare International, ... conference call and webcast to discuss its financial results ... 2015, on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. ... prior to the conference call and webcast.  On the ... financial results, highlights from the fourth quarter and business ...
(Date:2/12/2016)...  Memorial Hermann Health System has teamed up with ... bring a one-of-a-kind experience to pediatric patients at ... as 360-degree video and Google Cardboard, Howard was able ... giving the patients and their families an unexpected, and ... on video . Memorial Hermann IRONMAN ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: