Touchscreen Training Course

TBA (Due to COVID-19, there are no in-person training available at this time)

Western University

Whether you’re new to touchscreens or want to expand your knowledge, there’s something for everyone at our hands-on training course.  Our training program consists of several modules with both lectures and active learning components.

Benefits to participants:

  • In-person training
  • Discussion with peers fostering community and collaborations

Tentative modules

1. Getting started

You’ve unpacked and set up your touchscreens, so now what?  This module will cover a variety of topics to help you get the most out of your rodents and touchscreen technology.  This includes an overview of currently available touchscreen tasks, how to set up your experiment (with ABETII), best practices, as well as troubleshooting (common errors).

 

Instructor: 

Dr. Julie R. Dumont

jdumont2@uwo.ca

Research Associate, Touchscreen Platforms

2. a) Tour of Western touchscreen facilities

Take a tour of the Mouse Neurobehavioural Core and the Translational Cognitive Neuroscience (TCN) Lab spaces.  Notice the similarities and the difference in set-up.  This will also include a discussion on the pros and cons of both as well as brainstorming your ideal space and/or any changes or modifications that you can make to your current experimental set-up.

 

Guides: 

Matthew Cowan

mcowan@robarts.ca

Facility Manager

 

Dr. Julie R. Dumont

jdumont2@uwo.ca

Research Associate, Touchscreen Platforms

2. b) Touchscreen maintenance

This module takes you through ways to maintain your touchscreens so they can have a long healthy life.  It also emphasizes modifications to equipment, components that experience more wear and tear compared with others, and how to check the quality of your equipment. It will also cover diagnosing hardware and software issues.

 

Instructor:

Dr. Daniel Palmer

dpalmer9@uwo.ca

Postdoctoral Associate

3. Data acquisition

What measures are you obtaining in touchscreens?  How are they recorded?  This module will also demonstrate several different options for keeping track of the progress of your experiment, storing and sorting through data to make rapid experimental decisions and set performance criteria as animals progress through various experimental stages.

 

Instructor: 

Dr. Flavio Beraldo

fberaldo@robarts.ca

Research Associate, Adjunct Professor (Physiology & Pharmacology)

4. Data analysis

Now that you’ve run your experiment, it’s the exciting time of analysing it all! What do all those behavioural measures mean?  Should you examine all the variables measured? How do you extract and export to XML for use with MouseBytes? How do you extract your data from ABETII? What appropriate analysis profiles should you use? These are some questions that will be addressed in this module. Please note that learning how to code (e.g. using R, Python, MATLAB) or analyze your data using particular statistical packages (e.g. SPSS) is beyond the scope of this course.

 

 

Instructor:

Dr. Daniel Palmer

dpalmer9@uwo.ca

Postdoctoral Associate

5. Introduction to Mousebytes.ca

MouseBytes is an open-access and user-friendly cognitive repository (mousebytes.ca). It employs advanced web technologies and is connected to a database/repository of cognitive data obtained using touchscreen technology which allows its use without any software installation. Not only can users deposit their original data, but they are also able to extract, export, share and re-analyze data obtained from other laboratories and benefit from data visualization. The goal of this module is to show participants how to use different functionalities in MouseBytes.

 

Instructor:

Dr.  Sara Memar

smemarko@uwo.ca

Neuroinformatics Specialist, Data Scientist & Software Developer

Advanced modules (by request only)

1. Task development and modification

Learn how to modify current protocols beyond the basic level in ABETII to help facilitate the development of new tasks.  This module requires participants to develop their own simple experimental protocol in ABETII.

 

Instructors: 

Dr. Daniel Palmer

dpalmer9@uwo.ca

Postdoctoral Associate

 

Dr. Julie Dumont

jdumont2@uwo.ca

Research Associate, Touchscreen Platforms

2. Combining touchscreen behaviour with modern neuroscience techniques

Dream of doing optogenetics or fiber photometry while your rodent works for milkshake reward?  This module is for you and includes information regarding equipment needed, special considerations for your rodent, modifications to protocols to integrate the touchscreens with the technique, and some insider tips and tricks.

 

Instructor:

Dr. Miguel Skirzewski Prieto

mskirzew@uwo.ca

Research Associate, In Vivo Circuit Techniques

 

The training course October 10-11, 2019, is funded by BrainsCAN and we are able to waive the attendee registration fees.

The training course June 3-4, 2019, was jointly funded by BrainsCAN and the International Society for Neurochemistry (ISN). Through this generous support, we were able to waive the attendee registration fees and provide travel bursaries (subject to Western’s own travel policy). In addition, participants were also provided per diem assistance of $60. This could be used for accommodation or other expenses incurred while attending.

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