Video motion-tracking versus implantable neurophysiological telemetry as outcome measures in rodents

Stancu M (1), Calin A (1), Paslaru A (1), Zahiu D (1), Voinescu M (1), Stoian A (1), Ionescu MR (1), Acatrinei CA (1), Zagrean AM (1), Zagrean L (1) and Moldovan M (1,2) 1) Division of Physiology and Fundamental Neuroscience, "Carol Davila" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania; 2) Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Panum, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Published in: Abstract Book - Conference of the National Neuroscience Society of Romania, "Carol Davila" University Press ISSN 2344 – 3952

SNN 2013
17-19 Oct, 2013


Long-term multimodal neurophysiological recordings by implantable telemetry are considered the gold standard for outcome measures of brain function in rodent studies. Nevertheless, due to their technological complexity, these systems remain an expensive commodity, which limits their use. By contrast, during the recent years, video recording techniques and computer image processing techniques became increasingly available. Our aim was to investigate to which extent the wakefulness activity measured using a video motion tracking system compares with the telemetric gold standard in the rat. Electroencephalographic (EEG) and neck electromyo-graphic (EMG) recordings were obtained from freely moving male Wistar rats using a 2-channel telemetric implant. Simultaneously, the rat movement within a standard laboratory transparent plastic cage was tracked online using a general-purpose infrared camera and custom-made software. We found that the score obtained by video motion tracking had a similar sensitivity to detect movement as the corresponding neck EMG for determining the state of “activity” during wakefulness. Our finding suggests that video motion tracking could be reliably used as a less expensive alternative of rodent activity assessment than neurophysiologic telemetric systems. Furthermore, when telemetric systems are available, video motion tracking can replace the neck EMG channel, allowing its use for recording of other relevant bio signals.