A simple webcam-based approach for the measurement of rodent locomotion and other behavioural parameters

J Neurosci Methods. 2006 Oct 15;157(1):91-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2006.04.005. Epub 2006 May 15.


We hereby describe a simple and inexpensive approach to evaluate the position and locomotion of rodents in an arena. The system is based on webcam registering of animal behaviour with subsequent analysis on customized software. Based on black/white differentiation, it provides rapid evaluation of animal position over a period of time, and can be used in a myriad of behavioural tasks in which locomotion, velocity or place preference are variables of interest. A brief review of the results obtained so far with this system and a discussion of other possible applications in behavioural neuroscience are also included. Such a system can be easily implemented in most laboratories and can significantly reduce the time and costs involved in behavioural analysis, especially in developing countries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Amphetamine / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology
  • Dizocilpine Maleate / pharmacology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Exploratory Behavior / drug effects
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Rodentia / physiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Software*
  • Time Factors
  • Video Recording


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Caffeine
  • Dizocilpine Maleate
  • Amphetamine