Novel Object Recognition (NOR) is a behavioral test of episodic memory for rodents. During the test animals are habituated to an object and then non-familiar objects are placed in the environment w/ the familiar object. Recognition memory is measured by sniffs on the familiar and the unfamiliar object. This test is a useful tool in the analysis of learning and memory, phenotyping, general cognition, aging, drug discovery etc.
ObjectScan can automatically detect and record rodent sniffing behavior using measures such as: the object sniffed, duration of sniff, number of sniffs at objects, relative sniffing duration with respect to other objects, etc. The system uses video taken from the top view with objects placed in a pre‐defined region. The camera remains stationary and is continuously focused on this region. ObjectScan allows the experimenter to remove, move or replace objects in the analysis region and re‐analyze. The objects are labeled by the user. ObjectScan ensures that sniffing is counted only when the animal’s nose is in contact with (or within a specified distance of) an object, without the need to color the animal’s head, due to the fact that ObjectScan can reliably detect the nose of the animal at all times, except when the animal is curled up so much that the nose would not be discernible. ObjectScan can automatically identify important body parts of the animal such as nose, tail, forelimbs, hind limbs at all times.
ObjectScan outputs the detailed sequential listing of behaviors with recorded sniffs on various objects. After completion, ObjectScan also outputs detailed summary statistics about the sniffing behavior on each object such as the number of sniffing behaviors on each object, the fraction of sniffs on each object, the average duration of sniffs, etc. Multiple cages or arenas numbering up to 16 (depending on size of arena and objects) can be analyzed simultaneously. Advanced features such as automatic stopping of recording for each cage, automatic enlargement/shrinking of objects are supported.
All detected sniffing events are output as a list. Double‐clicking each item on the list will playback the video segment corresponding to that occurrence, facilitating validation and detailed study. ObjectScan also includes a sophisticated and easy to use experiment data management mode that organizes results of all animals/trials in an experiment in a database. From this database, the advanced feature‐based group export function allows exporting of all or multiple results from a given experiment into a comprehensive Excel file.
The powerful Visualization Mode allows full review of the analysis, ability to load alternative parameter settings, and export of various statistical measures and graph data.
Other applications for ObjectScan include choice‐test paradigms where the user needs to determine where the animal visits/sniffs amongst a multitude of options (odor tests). A similar paradigm where the animal needs to find hidden or buried pellets or objects in receptacles is also applicable for ObjectScan. The objects may also be other animals confined to a specific area, such as an animal placed inside a opaque/transparent cylinder (example shown in figure below). The cylinder is used as the object to determine if the test animal approaches and sniffs the cylinder or not.
As mentioned earlier, ObjectScan can be applied to achieve high throughput screening as well. System architecture for high throughput screening has been designed that provides analysis of up to 16 arenas on a system, depending on how large the arenas are. More realistically, 4 to 8 arenas can easily be analyzed simultaneously. Such high levels of throughput are possible as we can integrate multiple cameras together into the TopScan framework that ObjectScan is a component of. The High‐Throughput product option is necessary to analyze more than a single arena simultaneously. The Realtime Option is necessary to perform realtime analysis where the live video feed into the computer is compressed, encoded, saved to the hard drive while simultaneously full analysis of the video is performed.
Many advanced features are incorporated, including supporting full color analysis, automatic adaptation to non‐uniform or changing environment, automated handling of light/dark areas, variable speed playback of specific video segment for specific detected behavior, etc.
Complete Turn‐key systems including all necessary Hardware and Software are available. Custom design of your environment to facilitate analysis, including lighting condition setup, IR/red light setup, cage enclosures, video integration, and video‐feed to computer is also available.