Feeding Experimentation Device - F.E.D.

Founding developers Katrina Nguyen and Lex Kravitz

Founding developers Katrina Nguyen and Lex Kravitz

Katrina Nguyen initially developed this device while at the Kravitz lab at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The Kravitz lab is interested in basal ganglia circuits and how their function changes in obesity and addiction. The lab is a strong supporter of open-source science.

The Feeding Experimentation Device (FED) automatically quantifies feeding with high accuracy and temporal resolution. It is home cage compatible, and can measure both food intake and feeding patterns over multiple days. The FED has a small well giving access to dispensed food pellets. A pellet in the well is detected with a photosensor. Removal of the pellet triggers the dispense of the next pellet. Pellet delivery is stored with the timestamp on an SD card. The device runs on battery.

The FED provides a huge advantage over the most common method for monitoring food intake involving the manual weighing of food, which is labor intensive, and does not give feeding patterns. Commercial systems automatically capture high-resolution food intake but cost thousands of dollars for each cage, making high-throughput feeding experiments difficult to run.

Key publication

Nguyen KP, O'Neal TJ, Bolonduro OA, White E, Kravitz AV (2016). Feeding Experimentation Device (FED): A flexible open-source device for measuring feeding behavior. J Neurosci Methods, 267:108-114. Link


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