Tools for

Social behavior studies

Studying social behavior in animal models can help us understand more about the same behaviors in humans. For example, researchers may study rodents or zebrafish to learn more about psychiatric disorders that affect human social behaviors, such as schizophrenia and autism. Social behavior is also an important indicator of animal welfare.

Tools for Social behavior studies

Studying social behavior

Animals display a range of social behaviors, including sexual and mating behavior, agonistic behavior, and maternal behavior. These behaviors can be studied in a pair or group of animals, but researchers can also study how individual animals respond to social stimuli. In social behavior studies, researchers are often interested in differences between treatment groups or genetic strains. You can use a variety of locations for your research, including an open field or home cage environment, a tank set-up, or a barn, zoo, or pasture.


Detailed data analysis

Rely on EthoVision® XT for highly accurate and detailed data for your social behavior studies. EthoVision XT automatically detects and tracks your animal as it moves around the test arena, and can even track multiple animals simultaneously. To ensure a precise detection of an animal’s location and position, the software detects an animal’s center point, nose point, and tail base. You can calculate the distance between two animals, monitor an animal’s proximity to another animal, and analyze animals’ relative movements. EthoVision XT also offers versatile data selection, visualization, and analysis tools for meaningful insights in behavior.


two zebrafish

Zebrafish studies

The zebrafish has become an important vertebrate model to study neurobiology and behavior. One of the ways zebrafish express social behavior is through shoaling. EthoVision XT video tracking can detect and track fish in a group from a live video feed or video file and measure inter-fish distances continuously. This way, you can assess shoal density or the shoaling tendency of one individual. Typically used parameters include the average distance between fish, the distances between the nearest and farthest neighbor, and the duration of proximity. All these parameters are automatically calculated and visualized alongside your other data in EthoVision XT.


Customer quote

"Ethovision XT has saved us a lot of time analysing behavioural data - allowing us to do more, faster."

A. Brigham|Rentokil Initial, Horsham, UK


Indoor and outdoor tracking

Use TrackLab™ for your research on social behavior in livestock, zoo, or companion animals. TrackLab uses UWB and GPS technology to accommodate both indoor and outdoor tracking, and comes with a variety of tag solutions for different animal species. You can monitor your animals’ location continuously or schedule recording sessions for specific times of interest. Analyze and visualize social behavior with TrackLab’s parameters for proximity and pair relations, and gain valuable insights in social networks and animal welfare.

tracklab integrated image cows in stable trackplot

Relevant blogs


How an internal clock gene can alter innate behaviors in mice

Some might argue that laboratory mice are not the same as wild mice, yet they remain capable of performing the innate, routine behaviors necessary to survive in natural environments, such as courtship and nest-building,

How to get reliable results on object recognition using video tracking

In the beginning of this year I wrote a post about the Morris water maze test, a popular and well-validated paradigm to study learning and memory in rats and mice.

Why social pigs do better

If you want to get on in life, is it better to make friends, or should you trample down the competition? Maybe we can learn something from animals…
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