J. Kerl

Ethological Station Sennickerode, Institute for Anthropology, University of Göttingen, Gleichen, Germany

A data-collecting system is presented that allows the recording of heart rate data together with the corresponding behavioral data of up to eight undisturbed and free interacting animals. There is the option of the additional recording of the behavioral data of two further animals. The system for collecting behavioral data of up to 10 animals contains a digitizer board, with headphones and a pencil, as well as common personal computer with a serial input. For the present application a program was written, that divided the digitizer-surface into a number of squares as entry fields. There are fields for animal codes, fields to enter animal positions in a threedimensional space, fields for behavioral categories, one large "Enter" field and several fields for special functions. An 8-channel heart rate telemetry system enables the simultaneous recording of the heart rate of up to eight animals. Each animal is provided with an implanted ECG-transmitter weighing 3.14 g and measuring 21.6 x 15.3 x 6.1 mm. The reading of the heart rate data is initiated upon software request. Every 500 ms the data-collecting program asks for the new heart rate data of each animal at the parallel input of the connected PC. In first applications in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) the system has been working successfully and allowed a first insight into the correlation between changes of the environment and the behavioral and physiological response of the animals.

Paper presented at Measuring Behavior '96, International Workshop on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research, 16-18 October 1996, Utrecht, The Netherlands