dimanche 8 mars 2015

Announcement for a workshop at Behaviour2015 in Cairns, Australia (9-14th August 2015)

“Virtual Reality systems and computer animations in animal behavior research”

Date: Friday 14th August 2015
Time: TBC
Room: TBC
Virtual reality (VR) systems and computer animations are promising but yet possibly underestimated methods for the use in behavioral research. Sharing many advantages, both methods are ideal for standardized, repetitive testing of behavior. Computer animations allow replacing experimental animals by their virtual counterparts that can be manipulated in any way and who behave totally predictable. The same counts for virtual environments that are created according to specific and predefined landmarks for testing navigational skills or discrimination abilities in a certain animal. Both methods inevitably combine aspects of biology and computer science which leaves many scientists reluctant to use them. Fear of possibly high technical requirements and the lack of know-how are the main reasons.

This workshop will be discussion based, offering introductions to the different methods with two step-by-step tutorials and a more detailed look at DOs and DON’Ts:
Introduction to VR systems for freely moving model organisms and discussion of possible ways of implementation in research and constraints to keep in mind depending on different experimental animals.
Short overview of useful techniques and software to create and animate virtual animals.
Step-by-step tutorial for creating a 2D computer animation of a spider with Adobe products. This method is not restricted to the use with spiders but might also be applied with other animals.
Introduction to the novel and free software tool anyFish with a tutorial describing its functions. AnyFish was developed to create 3D animations of fish for the use in behavioral experiments.

Participation is recommended for early stage scientists (PhDs and early PostDocs). Participants can follow the step-by-step tutorials with their own laptops (software and additional files needed). Specifics are given after registration. By the end of this workshop, participants should have a better idea of existing programs and tools and how to implement them in their research. The workshop also serves to form a network of scientists using VR and computer animations to share future knowledge and advice.

To participate please contact Stefanie Gierszewski via email: gierszewski@chemie-bio.uni-siegen.de

This workshop is a supplement to the “Virtual Reality”-Symposium held at Behaviour2015: http://iec2015-symposium.wix.com/virtual-reality