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Estimation of skeletal kinematics in freely moving rodents

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Monsees,  Arne       
Department of Behavior and Brain Organization, Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Max Planck Society;
International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Brain and Behavior, Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Max Planck Society;

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Voit,  Kay-Michael
Department of Behavior and Brain Organization, Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Max Planck Society;

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Wallace,  Damian J       
Department of Behavior and Brain Organization, Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Max Planck Society;

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Sawinski,  Jürgen       
Department of Behavior and Brain Organization, Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Max Planck Society;

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Leks,  Edyta       
External Organizations;
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Kerr,  Jason N. D.       
Department of Behavior and Brain Organization, Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Max Planck Society;

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s41592-022-01634-9.pdf
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Citation

Monsees, A., Voit, K.-M., Wallace, D. J., Sawinski, J., Leks, E., Scheffler, K., et al. (2022). Estimation of skeletal kinematics in freely moving rodents. Nature Methods. doi:10.1038/s41592-022-01634-9.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-4B93-B
Abstract
Forming a complete picture of the relationship between neural activity and skeletal kinematics requires quantification of skeletal joint biomechanics during free behavior; however, without detailed knowledge of the underlying skeletal motion, inferring limb kinematics using surface-tracking approaches is difficult, especially for animals where the relationship between the surface and underlying skeleton changes during motion. Here we developed a videography-based method enabling detailed three-dimensional kinematic quantification of an anatomically defined skeleton in untethered freely behaving rats and mice. This skeleton-based model was constrained using anatomical principles and joint motion limits and provided skeletal pose estimates for a range of body sizes, even when limbs were occluded. Model-inferred limb positions and joint kinematics during gait and gap-crossing behaviors were verified by direct measurement of either limb placement or limb kinematics using inertial measurement units. Together we show that complex decision-making behaviors can be accurately reconstructed at the level of skeletal kinematics using our anatomically constrained model.