Animal behavior classification

The Forced Swim Test (FST) is a behavioral test used frequently to evaluate the potential efficacy of drugs (antidepressant) in rats or mice. In this experiment, rats are exposed to a 15-min pretest swim period and followed the next day by a 5-min test swim. Immersion of rodents in the water for an extended period of time produces a characteristic behavior called immobility, in which the rat makes only those movements necessary to keep its head above water. When antidepressant drugs are administered between the pretest and test periods, usually three times within 24 hr, the behavioral immobility is selectively decreased. Depending on the type of drug, rats show a mixed behavior of activities such as immobility, struggling/climbing (the rat tries to escape from the water), and swimming. Fig.1 shows activity profiles, obtained from successive images of rat movement in FST test for Tylose as control and Imipramine 40mg. The goal of our research is to develop a classification system for those activity profiles aiming at studing the bahavior and reaction of rats to different drugs.

The topics involved in this project are as follows:
  • Signal processing, filter design and noise reduction.
  • Classification of the FST signals using kernel methods.
Fig. 1 Activity profiles in FST.


Majid Beigi , Tel.: (07071) 29-78983, majid.beigi at