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Annu Rev Neurosci. 2016 Jul 8;39:217-36. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-070815-013845. Epub 2016 Apr 18.

Computational Analysis of Behavior.

Author information

1
Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, Virginia 20147; email: egnorr@janelia.hhmi.org , bransonk@janelia.hhmi.org.

Abstract

In this review, we discuss the emerging field of computational behavioral analysis-the use of modern methods from computer science and engineering to quantitatively measure animal behavior. We discuss aspects of experiment design important to both obtaining biologically relevant behavioral data and enabling the use of machine vision and learning techniques for automation. These two goals are often in conflict. Restraining or restricting the environment of the animal can simplify automatic behavior quantification, but it can also degrade the quality or alter important aspects of behavior. To enable biologists to design experiments to obtain better behavioral measurements, and computer scientists to pinpoint fruitful directions for algorithm improvement, we review known effects of artificial manipulation of the animal on behavior. We also review machine vision and learning techniques for tracking, feature extraction, automated behavior classification, and automated behavior discovery, the assumptions they make, and the types of data they work best with.

KEYWORDS:

animal behavior; automated behavioral analysis; computer vision; machine learning; tracking

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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