qSIM - Social Interaction Monitoring


Scoring social interactions between mice is both important for quantifying the social phenotype and at the same time most labor intensive. The qSIM combines several technologies for a novel, fully automatic method of scoring social interactions between two individual mice. (video introduction)

A thermal camera is used for video recording of the animals. The identity is established and continuously verified by reading out subcutaneous RFID tags. The processing software fuses this information, determines the animal positions as well as the orientation, and classifies the behavior type.

  • Individual sociability quantification
  • Short term studies, first encounter
  • Long term studies, social behavior
  • High throughput social phenotyping
  • Disease models for autism and mental disorders
  • Pharmacological studies

Check out our video walk around here

  • Placement of two mice into the observation cage
  • Simultaneous recording of:
    • Thermal image
    • RFID detection events
  • Data fusion of video and RFID data:
    • Animal contour recognition and  vectorization
    • Confirmation of identity using RFID forward/backward data
  • Classification of social interaction events
  • Export as data and annotated video file

The social behavior is classified into 25 categories. Multiple event types can occur simultaneously.

  • Static Events:
    • Contact events, e.g. oral-oral, side-by-side …
    • Relative position events, e.g. being behind, back-to-back …
  • Dynamic events
    • First order, e.g. approaching, following …
    • Second order, e.g. approach to contact, escape from contact …
    • Third order, e.g. move to contact and escape …


Repertoire of social interactions is based on de Chaumont et al., Nature Methods (2012).

Primary type: Following

Primary type: Contact