Measuring Behavior 2018 - Conference about to start

Tuesday, 5 June, 2018

Measuring Behavior 2018 will kick off in Manchester, UK - the original modern city. This conference will be the stage for the latest inventions, prototypes, and techniques in behavioral research. The conference is hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University.

Welcome reception Measuring Behavior 2018

Tonight, the welcome reception of Measuring Behavior 2018 is a great way to start the conference. In the pub you can meet your colleagues and get social! Looking forward to meeting you there at 5.30 PM.

Manchester Metropolitan University

Keynote speech

With a keynote speech from Prof. Françoise Wemelsfelder (Animal and Veterinary Sciences Group, Scotland's Rural College, Edinburgh, UK) the conference will start Wednesday morning bright and early at 9.00 AM. Her keynote will focus on “Measuring the expressive qualities of behavior”.

She will discuss various key methodological aspects of Qualitative Behavior Assessment (QBA), their strengths, weaknesses, and potential applications, and illustrate these with examples from QBA research.

Zebrafish behavior research

Then switch to the symposium “Fish as model organisms in behavioral research”, organized by Erika Roman and Svante Winberg from Uppsala University. The study of fish behavior has long traditions and goes back to Tinbergen´s studies of stickleback behavior, and the origin of ethology as a scientific discipline.

This symposium will congregate researchers tackling different neurobehavioral questions using fish as models. On www.nolduszebrafish.com we’ve described many topics and cases surrounding research with zebrafish.

Facial expression analysis in humans and animals

What I am also looking forward to, is the symposium on Thursday about measuring facial expressions. This symposium focuses on datasets/data sharing, technological challenges in analysis/measurement of human and animal facial expressions and its implication of behaviors to real-world applications.

Emotions of teachers and babies

Tiffany Drape and Stacy Vincent will present about “Measuring response to racial bias among preservice teachers during a class intervention. And, Andreas Maroulis has a very interesting presentation prepared about “Baby FaceReader AU classification for infant facial expression configurations”.

Horse faces

Pia Haubro Andersen and colleagues present an interdisciplinary approach to resolve the question “Can a machine learn to see horse pain?”. Animal welfare has been given more and more priority in research.

Detecting pain not only by measuring physiological responses but also by looking at horse faces, would be an ideal method to assess animal welfare. Already I read a post at aggie.org about this interesting approach to lean to see horse pain.

Andersen explains in that interview: “Sometimes, I say to my students, ‘Maybe computer vision is the closest we get to ‘talk’ to the animal, to understand what is it that animals ‘want’ or ‘don’t want’.’ We simply hadn’t been able to contain all the data and information, but suddenly we have computers to analyze them for us.”

Stay tuned

The conference will entail so many interesting symposia and workshops – all about how to measure behavior. A lot of conferences focus on research results but this particular conference focuses on methods and techniques because the way research is set up has its implications on the presented results.

We’ll keep you up to date by writing another blog this week about the most interesting sessions at Measuring Behavior 2018.