Core Facilities
USF-Health College of Medicine



For comprehensive information of the system at USF please check the Manual at the equipment.  Questions can also be sent to the Noldus representative at

  • NUMBER OF ARENAS: With EthoVision XT up to a HUNDRED subjects can be tracked simultaneously. This means, for example, that it s possible to use track up 16 rats simultaneously (e.g. 16 rats each in their own arena, being tracked after combining the output of 16 cameras with a multiplexer .
  • TRACKING LIVE WHILE RECORDING DIGITAL VIDEO FILES: The Framegrabber included with EthoVision XT doubles as a MPEG-4 recorder which can record digital video files DURING live tracking.
  • DIGITAL VIDEO RESOLUTION: EthoVision can handle media files of a resolution of 1400 x 1000 and higher. This is crucial when tracking many subjects.
  • AVAILABLE PARAMETERS. Trial duration, In zone, Distance to zone, Distance to zone border, Distance moved, Velocity, Heading, Turn angle, Angular velocity, Mobility. The distribution characteristics calculated across multiple tracks are mean, variance, standard deviation, standard error, maximum, minimum, sum, and number of samples.
  • TRACK EDITING. A feature unique to EthoVision is the ability to find and correct errors in individual tracks and multiple tracks.
  • ZONES OF INTEREST – Up to 10,000 zones can be defined for each individual arena, while multiple zones can be combined into cumulative zones. Cumulative zones are typically not a feature in similar systems.
  • DETECTION METHODS - EthoVision XT is unique in that it offers three detection methods: (a) Gray scaling – Defines all connecting pixels with a gray value above a certain threshold or below another threshold as a possible object. This method can be used when the entire background contains no gray scale values the same as the animal; (b) Static Subtraction – Looks at differences between pixels in a reference image and the new digitized image. With this method animals can be tracked in setups where the background contains pixels the same value as the animal. (c)Dynamic Subtraction – Looks at differences between pixels in a continuously updated reference image and the new digitized image. Other tracking systems will use just one or two of these three methods.
  • IMAGE FILTERING - EthoVision offers two image filters. These allow for adjustment of the digitized image of the animal detected during the tracking process to avoid accidental mix-up of the object with background noise and to improve body shape related parameters: (a) Erosion – Reduction of the geometrical area by removing pixels around the object’s boundary. This function can be used to eliminate parts of the detected object that stick out, like tails and legs; (b) Dilation – Increase of the geometrical area by adding pixels around the object’s boundary. This function can be used to connect parts of the objects that were separated during object detection. Such image filters are not provided in any other systems.
  • VISUALIZATON ON TRACKS: The recorded tracks can be superimposed on the  simultaneously recorded MPEG4 digital video file. This is a unique feature of EthoVision XT.