Open Source Joystick

Mar 26, 2020

This week we want to talk about joy! I mean, joy-sticks. Parley Belsey, Mark Nicholas and Eric Yttri have developed and shared an open-source joystick for studying motor behavior and decision making in mice!


 

Mice are hopping and popping in research, and so researchers are using more creativity and innovation to understand the finite aspects of their behaviors. Recently, members of the Yttri lab at Carnegie Mellon used their skills to create an open source joystick for studying mouse motor and decision making behaviors! In their paper they describe the full behavioral set up (with headmounting system based on the RIVETS design from the Dudman lab), featuring a removable head fixation point, a sipping tube, and a joystick to measure reach trajectory, amplitude, speed, etc. Data is collected and devices are controlled via an Arduino, solenoid circuit, microSD card reader, and LCD readout, and data can be analyzed in real time or saved to a csv for analysis later. The Arduino can be programmed to signal reward delivery when a correct response is recorded from the joystick which streamlines outcome based reward delivery. Belsey et al. tested their device with adult mice, and the results of training can be found in the paper as well as the full build instructions and ideas for how their tool may be of interest to build and use in your lab.

Paper

Read more about this joytsick manipulandum in eNeuro! 

Github

Check out the Github repository for this project for access to files and build instructions!

Yttri Lab Resources Page

Read more about the joystick on the Yttri lab website and be sure to check out some of the other great projects from this lab!

RIVETS Resource Page

Learn more about the RIVETS system from the Dudman Lab at Janelia, a great open source resource for headfixed imaging and ephys!