Looming task

The looming is a behavioral test allowing to study freeze or flight responses of animals after the predator appearance.



On rodents, the sight of a predator may induce 2 types of behavioral responses: freezing and/or flight. The looming has been developed to mimic different threatening situations for animals and thus to study these responses.


Photo credit: “Vision Guides Selection of Freeze or Flight Defense Strategies in Mice” (Current biology)

The looming includes:

  • An experimental chamber, dimensions: L 480 x l 300 x h 200 mm,
  • A screen located above the cage that projected the “predator”,
  • One or more refuges that can be positioned in the middle or on sides of the cage
  • A computer with POLY_LOOMING software to manage the experiment and POLY_Files to extract the results,
  • An electronic interface,
  • A floor with infrared backlight.


Looming1  Looming2

+ Videotracking

A control camera and our POLYTRACK software can be combined with our videotracking system to analyze freezing and flight behaviors.


+ Electrophysiology

It is also possible to record electrophysiological activities of neurons in rodents by connecting one the animal to our 64-channel electric commutator. In this way, this system can synchronize neuronal and behavioral events; and also sequences of appearance of the predator.



Our POLY_LOOMING software allows to:

  • Set the predator appearance up on the screen: shape, type of appearance (loom or sweep), start and end point, speed…
  • Save freezing sequences

Our POLY_Files software calculates:

  • Number of freezing area by area,
  • Freezing duration,
  • Paths,
  • Flight speed,
  • Delay of response…


All the results are displayed in a Microsoft Excel compatible datasheet.