Jonathan Cachat, Adam Stewart, Eli Utterback, Peter Hart, Siddharth Gaikwad, Keith Wong, Evan Kyzar, Nadine Wu, Allan V. Kalueff
PLoS ONE 6(3): e17597. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017597, 2011
A good example of experimental strategy using lessons learned from rodents to study the nervous system of another experimental animal, zebrafish. As zebrafish preform their behavior in a 3D space, the researchers use two video cameras to capture this behavior and convert it into 3D. This allows each behavioral phenotype a measurable dataset and creates a baseline for genetic manipulation.
Various size tanks were tested to see if behavior was basically the same for a zebrafish exploring a novel tank environment. The authors concluded that this was so with no behavior effect, only a time effect, behaviors in a lager tank took more time.
They next tracked behavior manually and automatically under different different anxiety reducing and anxiety increasing drug regimes. This not only matched manual measurements but allowed for both additional measurements and a much greater data density and quicker level of measurement. This allowed them to develop an accurate representation of the phenotype for low and high anxiety behavior. This will allow them to use movement pattern analysis to find subunits of these phenotypes.