Gonny Smit

Gonny Smit

As a Marketing Communication Specialist, I get to read, write, and learn a lot about behavioral neuroscience. I spend my days creating anything from videos and blog posts to website and leaflet content. Outside of the office, I love spending time with my horse, working out, and traveling.

video-tracking-children-autism

Video tracking of children with autism

Automated video tracking is a valuable tool for studies on animal models of autism (ASD). Diagnosis of ASD is based on behavior alone in humans, so naturally, behavior is an important part of human as well as rodent studies.
the-power-of-zebrafish-parkinsons-disease

The power of zebrafish in the study on Parkinson’s Disease

Zebrafish have proven to be a good model for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) research. They express several highly conserved genes that are associated with PD.
catwalk-gait-analysis-versus-treadmills

CatWalk XT gait analysis versus treadmills

Traditionally, there are two fundamentally different ways to analyze gait in animals. One can either observe or measure gait in an unrestricted manner, or in a forced manner, as seen when using a treadmill or treadwheel.
zebrafish-activity-circadian-rhythmicity

Tracking zebrafish activity to study a key element in circadian rhythmicity

Zebrafish are a popular model of choice for many researchers, including chronobiologists. That’s because zebrafish rapidly develop their ‘inner clock’ (circadian system) – and because this system is highly light-entrainable.
observing-monkey-behavior

Observing monkey behavior – cracking the nut

We already know some monkeys display above average intelligence. One way by which we can tell is their use of tools. Studies have shown that capuchin monkeys use boulders and logs as anvils upon which they can crush nuts.
zebrafish-parkinsons-research

Zebrafish with Parkinson's

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is one of the main neurodegenerative diseases and many researchers are involved in investigating this disease and developing treatments
object-recognition-automated-video-tracking

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.
home-cage-testing

Why it is smart to test your animal in its home cage

Behavior of laboratory rodents is often studied in well-controlled, simple experiments, in an environment that is fundamentally different from the animal’s home cage.
optogenetics-and-operant-conditioning

Optogenetics and operant conditioning

A great example of optogenetics in behavioral studies is the work of Dr. Kravitz and Dr. Kreitzer at the Kreitzer lab (currently, Kravitz works at the NIDDK in Bethesda). Let me tell you about it.
video-tracking-bug-repellant

Video tracking and a bug repellant stronger than DEET

Last year the news was hitting the internet: The Zwiebel lab (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA) may have found a new bug repellant that is stronger than DEET.