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Automated Analysis of Behavioural Variability and Filial Imprinting of Chicks (G. gallus) using Autonomous Robots

Abstract : Inter-individual variability has various impacts in animal social behaviour. This implies that not only collective behaviours have to be studied but also the behavioural variability of each member composing the groups. To understand those effects on group behaviour, we develop a quantitative methodology based on automated ethograms and autonomous robots to study the inter-individual variability among social animals. We choose chicks of Gallus gallus domesticus as a classic social animal model system for their suitability in laboratory and controlled experimentation. Moreover, even domesticated chicken present social structures implying forms or leadership and filial imprinting. We develop an imprinting methodology on autonomous robots to study individual and social behaviour of free moving animals. This allows to quantify the behaviours of large number of animals. We develop an automated experimental methodology that allows to make relatively fast controlled experiments and efficient data analysis. Our analysis are based on high-throughput data allowing a fine quantification of individual behavioural traits. We quantify the efficiency of various state-of-the-art algorithms to automate data analysis and produce automated ethograms. We show that the use of robots allows to provide controlled and quantified stimuli to the animals in absence of human intervention. We quantify the individual behaviour of 205 chicks obtained from hatching after synchronized fecundation. Our results show a high variability of individual behaviours and of imprinting quality and success. Three classes of chicks are observed: imprinted with variability, indifferent to the imprinting stimuli (i.e the robots) and chicks that avoid the imprinting stimuli. Our study shows that the concomitant use of autonomous robots and automated ethograms allows detailed and quantitative analysis of behavioural patterns of animals in controlled laboratory experiments.
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Contributor : Nicolas Bredeche Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, August 5, 2021 - 10:43:51 AM
Last modification on : Friday, May 13, 2022 - 11:02:01 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, November 6, 2021 - 6:15:40 PM


Arxiv cazenille 2017 1509.0195...
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  • HAL Id : hal-03314678, version 1
  • ARXIV : 1509.01957


A Gribovskiy, F Mondada, J Deneubourg, L Cazenille, N Bredeche, et al.. Automated Analysis of Behavioural Variability and Filial Imprinting of Chicks (G. gallus) using Autonomous Robots. 2021. ⟨hal-03314678⟩



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