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Inexpensive, scalable camera system for tracking rats in large spaces

Saxena, R and Barde, W and Deshmukh, SS (2018) Inexpensive, scalable camera system for tracking rats in large spaces. In: Journal of Neurophysiology, 120 (5). pp. 2383-2395.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00215.2018


Most studies of neural correlates of spatial navigation are restricted to small arenas (≤1 m2) because of the limits imposed by the recording cables. New wireless recording systems have a larger recording range. However, these neuronal recording systems lack the ability to track animals in large area, constraining the size of the arena. We developed and benchmarked an open-source, scalable multicam-era tracking system based on low-cost hardware. This “Picamera system” was used in combination with a wireless recording system for characterizing neural correlates of space in environments of sizes up to 16.5 m2. The Picamera system showed substantially better temporal accuracy than a popular commercial system. An explicit comparison of one camera from the Picamera system with a camera from the commercial system showed improved accuracy in estimating spatial firing characteristics and head direction tuning of neurons. This improved temporal accuracy is crucial for accurately aligning videos from multiple cameras in large spaces and characterizing spatially modulated cells in a large environment. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Studies of neural correlates of space are limited to biologically unrealistically small spaces by neural recording and position tracking hardware. We developed a camera system capable of tracking animals in large spaces at a high temporal accuracy. Together with the new wireless recording systems, this system facilitates the study of neural correlates of space at biologically relevant scale. This increased temporal accuracy of tracking also improves the estimates of spatiotemporal correlates of neural activity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Neurophysiology
Publisher: American Physiological Society
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Authors.
Keywords: animal experiment; Article; brain electrophysiology; controlled study; firing rate; hippocampus; male; measurement accuracy; neurophysiology; nonhuman; priority journal; rat; spatial orientation; wireless communication; animal; cost; devices; economics; locomotion; Long Evans rat; sensitivity and specificity; standards; videorecording, Animals; Costs and Cost Analysis; Locomotion; Male; Rats; Rats, Long-Evans; Sensitivity and Specificity; Spatial Navigation; Video Recording
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Neuroscience
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2022 11:48
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2022 11:48
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/76222

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