Technology - M-Track: A New Software to Track Mouse Grooming

M-Track: A New Software to Track Mouse Grooming

A software toolkit that automates the tracking of fine detail movements during rodent grooming episodes.


Grooming is a complex and robust innate behavior, commonly performed by most vertebrate species. For example, rodent grooming consists of a series of stereotyped patterned strokes, the frequency and duration of which are affected by stress, social interactions, and pharmacological manipulations. Grooming is therefore useful in behavioral studies to gain insights into the function of brain regions that control patterned activities and movement. Traditional grooming analysis requires manually recording grooming episodes. This is often time-consuming and provides limited information about finer aspects of grooming behaviors. Currently available video-tracking tools are limited to observing the whole body or large parts but cannot record fine critical details such as paws.

Technology Overview:

M-Track is a software toolkit developed by University at Albany researchers that can track the movement of each forepaw in multiple rodents during spontaneous grooming. This provides an easy platform to perform trajectory analysis of paw movement during distinct grooming episodes, enabling researchers to estimate stereotypy and bilateral motor coordination. M-Track tracks the movement of two marked paws in freely behaving rodents. It can track up to four individuals simultaneously. This software significantly streamlines the analysis of spontaneous grooming behaviors in rodents, which can be widely used in biomedical research. Analysis of grooming behavior is also valuable for research into neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders such as autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, and Tourette's syndrome.


  • Automates the tracking of rodent grooming behavior, freeing up research time
  • Captures finer details than current software options


  • Biomedical research
  • Behavioral analysis
  • Pharmacological development
  • Neurological research

Intellectual Property Summary:

This technology is embodied through proprietary software.

Stage of Development:

Stage of Development - TRL 7 - System prototype demonstration in operational environment. A working prototype of this technology is available.

Licensing Status:

This technology is available for licensing.

Licensing Potential:

This technology could be of interest to:
  • Pharmaceutical developers
  • Behavioral and neurological research laboratories
  • Educational institutions
  • Medical research and diagnostic facilities


Patent Information: