Using EthoVision XT as an education tool | Noldus Customer Success Story

The students respond differently to the use of EthoVision. Some think it is very easy to follow the protocol, some see this kind of program for the first time. They really learn how to use this program, and see how we are using it in real life. I am Jocelien Olivier, I am a professor in developmental behavioral neuroscience, I work at the University of Groningen, at the GELIFES Institute. Today we are running a practical for the minor neuroscience. The minor neuroscience is a university broad minor, which means that every student from all faculties can subscribe to this course. So it is a very diverse group. In this course we really try to give them the nicest things from neuroscience, and teach them how everything works. My research is about how adverse events during early life affect the behavior in later life. For instance, one of my lines is how antidepressant use during pregnancy affect the offspring. So we look into the brain, we look at different brain areas, if the gene expression is different between treated rats and non-treated rats. In this case, we hope that we can prevent that adverse life events can cause psychopathologies later in life. The reason why we chose EthoVision is because we use this program as well for our own research. It is very nice, because you can use it with various experiments. We have Morris water maze, we have open fields, we have elevated plus maze. Which are all tests to test anxiety or to test cognition. It is an easy way, it is objective. We don’t have to score how many squares they are crossing. You can just push the button and follow the rat. That makes it really easy to use. And because we are using it, it is nice to show how we do this research, and we can of course not invite all the students to come into our laboratory, so this is one way to show them how to do it. And they really like it. Today, we are studying about the effects of antidepressant use during pregnancy, but of course it is not only about behavior. It is also about all the other things underlying and causing the changes in behavior. We should not forget all the other factors that are playing a role as well. There is a lot to explore in finding out how we can make sure that people are living as healthy as possible, and if that is not possible, that we can treat them in the most right way to make them have a healthy life.

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