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  • Author or Editor: J. Heszberger x
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Automated behavioural observations are routinely used in many fields of biology, including ethology, behavioural ecology and physiology. When preferences for certain resources are investigated, the focus is often on simple response variables, such as duration and frequency of visits to choice chambers. Here we present an automated motion detector system that use passive infrared sensors to eliminate many drawbacks of currently existing methods. Signals from the sensors are processed by a custom-built interface, and after unnecessary data is filtered by a computer software, the total time and frequency of the subject’s visits to each of the choice chambers are calculated. We validate the detector system by monitoring (using the system) and in the same time video recording mating preferences of zebra finches in a four-way choice apparatus. Manual scoring of the video recordings showed very high consistency with data from the detector system both for time and for frequency of visits. Furthermore, the validation revealed that if we used micro-switches or light barriers, the most commonly applied automatic detection techniques, this would have resulted in approximately 22% less information compared to our lossless system. The system provides a low-cost alternative for monitoring animal movements, and we discuss its further applicability.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: V. Losó, A. Tóth, A. Gere, J. Heszberger, G. Székely, Z. Kókai and L. Sipos

According to international studies the consumer preference of apple varieties is defined by the flavour and texture and the consumers’ opinion about the heavily sour character, the mushy texture and the barely chewable peel is negative. However, the preference level and nutritional values of the apple juices are determined by the variety used, the maturity level and the processing of the fruits. In our study we conducted the external and internal preference mapping of two apple juices with 100% fruit content according to the industrial practice. It propounded several questions about the method of the preference mapping which were the following: product specific training of the assessors, panel performance monitoring, number of samples, representativity, scale use and marking, reasons of the singular matrix, segmentation method, segmentation criterion, power of the paired post-hoc analysis, number of the principal components (PC’s), etc. Finding the answers of the questions above it is possible to establish a good preference mapping practice.

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