What makes Noldus special in measuring behavior?

What makes Noldus special in measuring behavior?

Posted by Steffen van Heijningen on Wed 20 Mar. 2024 - 6 minute read

When it comes to behavioral research, having Noldus as your partner is a game-changer. But what exactly sets us apart? In short: It's not just our state-of-the-art tools; it's our deep-rooted expertise, commitment and passion to the field itself. When we create, advertise, and sell our products, we aim to make sure that our behavioral solutions make sense.

Our passion for science

Whether you’re exploring anxiety with the Elevated Plus Maze, or assessing learning and memory with the Morris Water Maze; it's our understanding of the subtleties in behavior that allows us to offer products such as EthoVision XT that truly meet the needs of behavioral researchers.

Then, there's the CatWalk XT system, which showcases our approach to measuring free-walking gait in rodents. Unlike methods that might induce forced gait, potentially skewing the natural representation of gait in rodents, the Catwalk XT system allows for the observation of voluntary movement. This method captures a wealth of data on gait dynamics in a more natural and unrestrained environment, offering critical insights into motor function for neurological studies. This distinction highlights our commitment to providing sophisticated, yet user-friendly, solutions that empower researchers to gain a deeper understanding of behavior and its underlying mechanisms.

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What does the name ‘Noldus’ actually mean?

Going back to the beginning, we can ask the question: What's in the name 'Noldus'? What does it mean? It’s actually just the last name of our founder; Lucas Noldus. Prof. Dr. Lucas Noldus holds a background in ethology and behavioral research, he completed his Ph.D. at Wageningen University in 1989, focusing on "Chemical Espionage by Parasitic Wasps." Interestingly, his Ph.D. fieldwork was conducted in the very location where the Noldus headquarters now stands, and where he developed Noldus’ first ever behavioral solution: The Observer XT (firstly dubbed as The BugWatcher), a behavioral coding program written in BASIC for the DOS operating system. 

Within this work, and the solution he created, he had a sort of 'Eureka' moment, where he realised that a behavioral recording tool for insects could also work for all other animal species including humans by decoupling the data structure (distinction of subject, behavior, modifiers) and the technology (computer-aided recording, timing and analysis of events) from the species-specific model of behavior (the ethogram or the 'coding system'), in which then a universal tool was created and The Observer XT was born.

He envisioned his passion, measuring behavior, could evolve with technological development. And thus also Noldus Information Technology was born. This unique connection between his academic work and the foundation of the company highlights Noldus's deep-rooted connection to integrating scientific research with practical applications.

leadership team lucas 2
Customer quote

"I am fascinated by new technologies to measure brain, body, and behavior. Building high-quality research tools that allow our customers to advance science, thus contributing to sustainable development and quality of life, fills me with pride. And doing this with a global team of professionals is a daily source of joy!" 

Prof. Dr. Lucas Noldus   |  Founder & CEO Noldus Information Technology  | Wageningen, the Netherlands

More than behavioral research tools

This brings us to what really makes Noldus stand out: we don't just provide tools, we offer solutions. Our products are born from real research needs, designed by people who've faced the same challenges our customers do, and our support doesn't end with the sale. We're here to guide, educate, and assist. For example, take a look at the time and effort we put in our services such as support, NoldusCare, and even an online learning environment with the Noldus Academy. That is why our commitment to advancing behavioral research extends beyond our products, because we believe in empowering the research community, including clients, non-clients, and even competitors. We also do this through an abundance of free resources like e-books, white papers, webinars, and blog posts. In these, we share our expertise and insights openly.

Yearly conference hosted by Noldus: Measuring behavior

Noldus also co-organizes the measuring behavior conference (since 1996!). Noldus has been the main sponsor of this conference since its inception, where it was even one of the founding members! This conference tries to create bridges between disciplines by bringing together people who may otherwise be unlikely to meet each other. At a Measuring Behavior meeting, you will find yourself among researchers from all fields of behavioral research. Want to attend? Register here!

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Here is a glimpse of some of those recourses!


  • Basic Behavioral Neuroscience in Rodents: A comprehensive guide for researchers interested in rodent behavior, covering experimental design, methodologies, and best practices.
  • Basic Behavioral Neuroscience in Zebrafish: Tailored for researchers working with zebrafish, this e-book dives into the specifics of conducting behavioral neuroscience research with this model organism.
  • How to Build a Rodent Neurobehavioral Core: This e-book provides a step-by-step guide for setting up a neurobehavioral core facility focused on rodent research, offering insights into equipment selection, experimental design, and best practices for conducting and analyzing behavioral studies.

mockup basic behavioral neuroscience in rodents

Buyer's guides

White papers

  • Aquatic Eco-neurotoxicology: Co-authored with a renowned zebrafish researcher, this white paper explores the intersection of environmental science and neurobehavioral research, highlighting the impact of environmental factors on neurobehavioral health.
  • FaceReader methodology: A guide on how FaceReader technology works for analyzing emotions through facial expressions, useful for research in psychology, marketing, and UX design.
  • Water maze testing and Alzheimer's: Discusses the role of water maze tests in understanding Alzheimer's disease, focusing on cognitive function.
  • Autism research: Offers insights into the latest tools and methods for autism research in humans, aiming to improve diagnosis, understanding, and support.
  • Eye tracking & FaceReader: Explains combining eye tracking with FaceReader to study where people look and how they feel, ideal for studies in consumer behavior and psychological research.
  • Fear conditioning, a deeply rooted behavior: Covers the basics and applications of fear conditioning in research, from setup to analysis, highlighting its importance in studying learning, memory, and anxiety.

mockup white paper ecotox neurotoxicology

But we also have a broad selection of intriguing webinars! These often focus on the latest in animal and human behavioral research technologies and methodologies, with speakers throughout the scientific field. With NoldusCare you have instant access to our full library of webinars in the NoldusAcademy. Below are a few examples of what you can expect. 

Animal behavior webinars

  • Zebrafish research in the spotlight: Dive into the world of zebrafish research, exploring cutting-edge methodologies and the impact of this model organism on neuroscience and behavioral studies.
  • Automated rodent behavior recognition with EthoVision XT: Learn how EthoVision XT's advanced algorithms can automatically recognize and categorize rodent behaviors, streamlining research workflows.
  • The standardization paradox: better data with naturalistic behavioral tests: This webinar tackles the challenge of balancing standardization with the need for naturalistic behavioral tests in animal research, offering insights into achieving reliable, reproducible data.

screenshot webinar deep learning

Human behavior webinars

  • Tools and methods for facial action coding: An in-depth look at the tools and methodologies for analyzing facial expressions, leveraging the latest in facial action coding systems.
  • How to integrate psychophysiological & behavioral data using both Noldus and BIOPAC tools: Discover how to combine psychophysiological measurements with behavioral data for a comprehensive analysis of human responses.
  • Innovative methodologies for consumer behavior research: Explore cutting-edge approaches to understanding consumer behavior, from eye tracking to emotion analysis, and how these insights can drive product development and marketing strategies.

These webinars represent just a fraction of all the resources available! Take a look a our full webinar repertoire here.

What topics would you like to see covered in our future e-books, webinars, or white papers? Whether it's a deep dive into a specific research methodology, innovative uses for our tools, or exploring new frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, your input is invaluable to us. Feel free to send us an e-mail at [email protected]

Make the difference with Noldus

To summarize, with Noldus, you're not just getting top-notch behavioral research tools; you're gaining a partner with a foundation in real scientific inquiry. When you partner with us, you're joining a community of scientists, with highly validated and robust research (and methods). There are so many other great companies out there, that also make great products. But remember that we at Noldus are specialists, and measuring behavior is not just a side-project, but lies at the very core of our company.

Check what others have experienced in their research by partnering with Noldus: Customer succes stories.

FaceReader Woman Happy hartrate

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