Small Animal Video Tracking for Activity and Path Analysis Using a Novel Open-Source Multi-Platform Application (AnimApp).
Rao SR., Olechnowicz SWZ., Krätschmer P., Jepson JEC., Edwards CM., Edwards JR.
Experimental biological model system outcomes such as altered animal movement capability or behaviour are difficult to quantify manually. Existing automatic movement tracking devices can be expensive and imposing upon the typical environment of the animal model. We have developed a novel multiplatform, free-to-use open-source application based on OpenCV, called AnimApp. Our results show that AnimApp can reliably and reproducibly track movement of small animals such as rodents or insects, and quantify parameters of action including distance and speed in order to detect activity changes arising from handling, environment enrichment, or temperature alteration. This system offers an accurate and reproducible experimental approach with potential for simple, fast and flexible analysis of movement and behaviour in a wide range of model systems.