Using an automated 3D-tracking system to record individual and shoals of adult zebrafish

J Vis Exp. 2013 Dec 5;(82):50681. doi: 10.3791/50681.

Abstract

Like many aquatic animals, zebrafish (Danio rerio) moves in a 3D space. It is thus preferable to use a 3D recording system to study its behavior. The presented automatic video tracking system accomplishes this by using a mirror system and a calibration procedure that corrects for the considerable error introduced by the transition of light from water to air. With this system it is possible to record both single and groups of adult zebrafish. Before use, the system has to be calibrated. The system consists of three modules: Recording, Path Reconstruction, and Data Processing. The step-by-step protocols for calibration and using the three modules are presented. Depending on the experimental setup, the system can be used for testing neophobia, white aversion, social cohesion, motor impairments, novel object exploration etc. It is especially promising as a first-step tool to study the effects of drugs or mutations on basic behavioral patterns. The system provides information about vertical and horizontal distribution of the zebrafish, about the xyz-components of kinematic parameters (such as locomotion, velocity, acceleration, and turning angle) and it provides the data necessary to calculate parameters for social cohesions when testing shoals.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Dizocilpine Maleate / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Software
  • Swimming
  • Video Recording / instrumentation*
  • Video Recording / methods*
  • Zebrafish / physiology*

Substances

  • Dizocilpine Maleate