Project Title: Poses and Programs for Behavior: Deconstructing and Classifying Action Patterns in Adult Zebrafish, Danio Rerio
BASIS Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Pittman
Internship Location: Georgetown University Center
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Jagmeet Kanwal
How do individual fins contribute to the overall motion of a fish? What role does genetics play in behavior? To answer these questions, a series of experiments must be conducted to develop a more thorough understanding of how particular genes (specifically the Shank3 mutation gene in Zebrafish) translate to behavior. Behavior is, by nature, qualitative. For this reason, one of the largest problems in behavior studies has been the quantification of behavior. Past projects have attempted to develop a methodology to resolve this error but have not achieved a high level of accuracy. This is mostly due in part because of the technology available at the time. Until recently, tracking softwares was inaccurate and only tracked a single point on the animal. As a result, researchers could not study their subjects in a multi-dimensional manner, instead being forced to evaluate complex behaviors from a single point. This is inherently fallacious as animal behavior unfolds as a sequence of multiple muscle contractions, propelling different body parts and possibly the whole animal through space. Thus, past methodologies are not powerful enough to measure complex behavior patterns. Consequently, the goals of this project will be to conduct and analyze these experiments in a multi-dimensional manner, refine an algorithm I developed last summer to optimize it for future use, and develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between genes and behavior.
Welcome back! Due to the coronavirus outbreak, I can no longer go on site for my Senior Project and have been working from home. This week I focused on refining the method by which we calculated zebrafish behaviors. Dr. Kanwal and I talked through the entire methodology from tracking the fish to detecting distinct motor […]
Welcome back! This has been a busy week. On Monday, I reviewed the past work I had done on my project. Going over old code and diagrams, I realized that I needed to spend some time brushing up on R and the tools I will be using. I spent Tuesday reviewing my notes and running […]
Hello! My name is Bhavjeet Sanghera and I am a senior at BASIS Independent McLean. My interest in neuroscience was first sparked in AP Psychology where I saw how microscopic connections in the brain translated into intricate behaviors that I could witness. I was enthralled by the sheer complexity of this process and sought to […]