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Tracking whisker kinematics and whisker shape in three dimensions

Rats and mice explore their environment by 3D whisker movements. However, most previous efforts to measure whisker movement have imaged whiskers only in the horizontal plane. Petersen et al developed a non-invasive whisker tracker that automatically reconstructs 3D whisker information directly from ‘stereo’ video data. The algorithm is able to track multiple whiskers in parallel with low error rate, and produces a 3D description of each tracked whisker, including its 3D orientation, 3D shape and bending-related mechanical force.

Image Credit: Andrea Colins Rodriguez, University of Manchester