Automated video analysis of age-related motor deficits in monkeys using EthoVision

Ashley Walton, Amy Branham, Don M. Gash, Richard Grondin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Previous studies comparing age-related changes in locomotor function in nonhuman primates have generally relied on subjective human observations or rudimentary infrared motion sensors. Here, we used the automated video-tracking system EthoVision to objectively quantify locomotor activity in 6 young, 6 middle-aged and 12 aged female rhesus monkeys. The video records were analyzed for distance traveled, movement speed and vertical activity. Our results showed that the young monkeys (4.9 ± 0.1 years old) traveled twice the distance and moved 48% faster than the middle-aged monkeys (15.7 ± 0.5 years old), and traveled thrice the distance and moved 67% faster than the aged monkeys (26.3 ± 0.9 years old). In addition, young monkeys were vertically more active (20/60 min) than both the middle-aged (7/60 min) and the aged (1/60 min) monkeys. Furthermore, the locomotor performance of the individual animals significantly correlated with increasing age for all three measures. We conclude that EthoVision is a reliable and objective tracking method for detecting age-related differences in locomotor movements in rhesus macaques, and possibly in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1483
Number of pages7
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors declare having no consulting or other financial arrangements with Noldus Information Technology, the company that produces and markets the automated video-tracking system EthoVision used in the present study. This work was supported by NIH Grant AG13494.


  • Aging
  • Motor functions
  • Nonhuman primates
  • Rhesus
  • Video-tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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