Dr. Roian Egnor

Something old and something new: using ethology and machine vision to decipher mouse social behavior

Advances in recording methods have recently driven the collection of large databases of animal behavior. However, identifying and quantifying the behaviors in these large datasets remains challenging. To attack this problem we use insights from ethology to refine machine-vision-based descriptions of mouse social behavior. In particular we exploit the fact that information about behavior is present both in the physical movement of socially interacting mice (video) and in the vocalizations they produce (audio). We have developed software that uses these two, simultaneously recorded, sources of input to visualize structure in behavioral data.


Dr. Roian Egnor is a Fellow at Janelia Research Campus where she studies the neural basis of vocal behavior in mice. She received her AB from Bryn Mawr College in 1990 and her PhD in Integrative Neurobiology from Caltech in 2000. At Caltech she worked in the lab of Dr. Mark Konishi on the neural basis of sound localization in the barn owl. After doing postdoctoral training at UCLA, Harvard, and the Marine Biological Lab, Roian moved to the Janelia Research Campus in 2008. Roian has a long-standing interest in animal behavior and has worked with harbor seals, great horned owls, leopard frogs, rats, dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, barn owls, American bullfrogs, cotton-topped tamarins, common marmosets, and mice.

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