#206: Development of semi-automatic procedure for detection and tracking of fiducial markers for orofacial kinematics during natural feeding

F. Bunyak, N. Shiraishi, K. Palaniappan, T. E. Lever, L. Avivi-Arber, and K. Takahashi

In Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), pgs. 580-583, 2018

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Feeding is a highly complex, essential behavior for survival in all species. Characterization of feeding behaviors has implications in basic science and translational medicine. We have been developing methods to study feeding behaviors using high speed videofluoroscopy (XROMM) in rats while self-feeding radiopaque flavored kibble. The rat is a popular model in translational medicine; however, it has not been studied using this methodology. Towards this goal, we surgically implanted radiopaque fiducial markers into the skull, mandible, and tongue of rats to enable motion tracking. We are developing computer vision tools to extract kinematics and behavioral features from XROMM videos to overcome barriers of current analysis methods. By understanding feeding dynamics, we will gain basic scientific knowledge and translational insights for feeding disorders caused by neurological conditions such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke.