[visionlist] About help on eye-tracking of head free non-human primates

Stefan Dowiasch stefan.dowiasch at physik.uni-marburg.de
Mon Jul 16 12:27:37 -05 2018

Dear all,

I am Stefan, a visiting assistant professor at the Department of 
Neurophysics at the University of Marburg and Chief Scientific Officer 
at Thomas RECORDING GmbH, Germany.
We faced the same problems in the past and are currently working on a 
solution, which allows freely moving primates to perform behavioral 
tasks in their home cages or special arenas in combination with eye 
tracking and single cell recordings.
Recently we finished the first step, i.e. a training and experimental 
unit for freely moving primates, which is commercially available at 
Thomas RECORDING (please see: 
You can find a demo video of the system on Youtube: 
In short: The system consists of a ruggedized tablet computer, a 
flexible cage-mountable holding device and an integrated reward unit. 
Currently the build-in front-facing camera can be used to monitor the 
animal and its overall behavior. However, we are currently working on a 
software update to implement basic eye tracking features (fixation 
control, saccade-antisaccade-tasks, etc.) to the system.
Furthermore, a trigger interface for synchronization with chronic 
recording devices (e.g. the wireless version of the AMEP system 
https://www.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/jn.00504.2017), is in 

Taken together, I think this system should meet most of your 
requirements regarding eye tracking and single unit recordings in freely 
moving primates. At the moment, you can start training your animals with 
the system and getting them used to the new environment. In the near 
future, you can upgrade your existing device with a new software 
package, giving you the possibility to track the eyes of the primate and 
synchronize your behavioral and eye tracking data with your 
physiological recordings.

If you have further questions or suggestions, please feel free to 
contact me anytime.

Best regards,

Dr. Stefan Dowiasch

Am 14.07.2018 um 21:09 schrieb visionlist-request at visionscience.com:
> Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2018 12:00:45 +0530
> From: Harish Katti <harish2006 at gmail.com>
> To: visionlist at visionscience.com
> Subject: [visionlist] About help on eye-tracking of head free
> 	non-human primates
> Message-ID:
> 	<CAOei6hAoRnc=aApwyws4R2WiZ6EXd9K4q-JPSj+u+TwWHi9ALA at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
>   Dear all
>        I am Harish, a post-doctoral fellow in Dr SP Arun's experimental
> vision group at the Centre for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science.
> I'm posting this to get feedback from researchers who have tried automated
> eye-gaze/head-pose/body-pose tracking of freely moving non-human primates.
> In our lab we are trying to setup eye tracking in monkeys without any
> head restraints. Our plan is to have a behavioural arena where the
> animal is not head-fixed and can come up to a touch screen and perform
> simple tasks in return for juice rewards. Since the animals are not
> head-fixed, the eye-tracking needs to be done in a manner that can
> handle change in body and head pose. We have been evaluating a few
> commercial eye-tracking systems but find that the trackers have
> difficulty in finding the face/eyes. It will be nice to have your inputs
> on the following issues,
> 1. Is there a good eye tracking system that already has macaque face
> appearance templates bulit in?
> 2. Are there any novel ways of placing  the screen and tracker that
> result in better eye-tracking? We have tried various ways of placing
> trackers below the screen and at various distances from the animal.
> 3. Are there multi-camera eye-tracker systems that we can set-up from
> different view points so that one or more can always have a clear view
> of the animal?
> 4. Do these systems have hardware input for behavioral event markers and
> analog/digital outputs of eye-gaze data so that we can sync it with our
> neural data acquisition.
> best,
> Harish
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