Learn More
BACKGROUND Obtaining a complete phenotypic characterization of a freely moving organism is a difficult task, yet such a description is desired in many neuroethological studies. Many metrics currently used in the literature to describe locomotor and exploratory behavior are typically based on average quantities or subjectively chosen spatial and temporal(More)
Exploration is a central component of human and animal behavior that has been studied in rodents for almost a century. The measures used by neuroscientists to characterize full-blown exploration are limited in exposing the dynamics of the exploratory process, leaving the morphogenesis of its structure and meaning hidden. By unfettering exploration from(More)
Widely used behavioral assays need re-evaluation and validation against their intended use. We focus here on measures of chronic anxiety in mouse models and posit that widely used assays such as the open-field test are performed at the wrong time, for inadequate durations and using inappropriate mouse strains. We propose that behavioral assays be screened(More)
Animal models of human diseases of the central nervous system, generalized anxiety disorder included, are essential for the study of the brain-behavior interface and obligatory for drug development; yet, these models fail to yield new insights and efficacious drugs. By increasing testing duration hundredfold and arena size tenfold, and comparing the(More)
Factors determining individuality are still poorly understood. Rodents are excellent model organisms to study individuality, due to a rich behavioral repertoire and the availability of well-characterized isogenic populations. However, most current behavioral assays for rodents have short test duration in novel test environments and require human(More)
A variety of setups and paradigms are used in the neurosciences for automatically tracking the location of an animal in an experiment and for extracting features of interest out of it. Many of these features, however, are critically sensitive to the unavoidable noise and artifacts of tracking. Here, we examine the relevant properties of several smoothing(More)
Anxiety is a widely studied psychiatric disorder and is thought to be a complex and multidimensional phenomenon. Sensitive behavioral discrimination of animal models of anxiety is crucial for the elucidation of the behavioral components of anxiety and the physiological processes that mediate them. Commonly used behavior paradigms of anxiety usually include(More)
In behavior genetics, behavioral patterns of mouse genotypes, such as inbred strains, crosses, and knockouts, are characterized and compared to associate them with particular gene loci. Such genotype differences, however, are usually established in single-laboratory experiments, and questions have been raised regarding the replicability of the results in(More)
Spatial memory is often studied in the Morris Water Maze, where the animal's spatial orientation has been shown to be mainly shaped by distal visual cues. Cognition-related behavior has also been described along "well-trodden paths"--spatial habits established by animals in the wild and in captivity reflecting a form of spatial memory. In the present study(More)
To obtain a perspective on an animal's own functional world, we study its behavior in situations that allow the animal to regulate the growth rate of its behavior and provide us with the opportunity to quantify its moment-by-moment developmental dynamics. Thus, we are able to show that mouse exploratory behavior consists of sequences of repeated motion:(More)