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MATSAP: An automated analysis of stretch-attend posture in rodent behavioral experiments.


ABSTRACT: Stretch-attend posture (SAP) occurs during risk assessment and is prevalent in common rodent behavioral tests. Measuring this behavior can enhance behavioral tests. For example, stretch-attend posture is a more sensitive measure of the effects of anxiolytics than traditional spatiotemporal indices. However, quantifying stretch-attend posture using human observers is time consuming, somewhat subjective, and prone to errors. We have developed MATLAB-based software, MATSAP, which is a quick, consistent, and open source program that provides objective automated analysis of stretch-attend posture in rodent behavioral experiments. Unlike human observers, MATSAP is not susceptible to fatigue or subjectivity. We assessed MATSAP performance with videos of male Swiss mice moving in an open field box and in an elevated plus maze. MATSAP reliably detected stretch-attend posture on par with human observers. This freely-available program can be broadly used by biologists and psychologists to accelerate neurological, pharmacological, and behavioral studies.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4977506 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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