Measuring Behavior is a biennial conference centered around methods and techniques in behavioral research. While most conferences focus on a specific scientific area, Measuring Behavior tries to create bridges between disciplines by bringing together people who may otherwise be unlikely to meet each other. At a Meauring Behavior meeting, you will find yourself among ethologists, behavioral ecologists, behavioral neuroscientists, developmental, social and work psychologists, ergonomists, human factors researchers, movement scientists, psychiatrists, psychophysiologists, toxicologists, usability testers, and others! While the research questions and applications may be highly diverse, what all delegates share is an interest in methods, techniques and tools for the study of behavior. Experience tells us that the focus on methodological and technical themes can lead to a very productive cross-fertilization between research fields.
The first meeting, Measuring Behavior ’96, was the spin-off of the international Eureka project "Automatic Recording and Analysis of Behavior". The plan to share the results of our project with colleagues quickly evolved into an international event. Organized by Noldus Information Technology and hosted by the Rudolf Magnus Institute for Neurosciences in Utrecht, The Netherlands, Measuring Behavior ’96 attracted 153 participants from 25 countries. The 2-day program included 70 presentations and 4 scientific tours. Menno Kruk wrote a report of the meeting, which was published in Trends in Neurosciences (vol. 20, pp. 187-189, 1997).
This year’s conference brought more than 275 delegates from 32 countries together at the campus of the University of Groningen in Haren. During three full conference days, there were 140 presentations grouped in 14 thematic symposia. More than in 1996, the scientific program was well-balanced between human and animal research. There was also more time for posters and demonstrations of software or equipment by participants. The scientific tours, technical training sessions and user meetings, all of which were highly rated program elements in 1996, had been further expanded. This year we had six lab tours, 20 setups for ongoing technical training, and two companies are holding user meetings. New on the program was a ‘video digitization service’ which allows you to take a look in the world of digital video. Finally, some 20 companies were exhibiting scientific books, instruments and software.
Measuring Behavior ’98 was the second in a series. The word ‘series’ may seem a bit exaggerated for an event that only sees its second occurrence. However, the very positive way in which the Measuring Behavior conferences have been received so far indicates that the meeting has found a niche in the crowded annual conference calendar. As far as we are concerned, it’s here to stay! The search for a conference venue for Measuring Behavior 2000 is already in progress...
Noldus Information Technology b.v.