Physical, behavioral and spatiotemporal perspectives of home in humans and other animals

Efrat Blumenfeld-Lieberthal*, David Eilam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Home is usually considered as a physical construct of residence. In both humans and non-humans it has a functional partitioning into room for living, storage, toilets and other defined activities or services. Home is first and foremost where a set of behaviors are performed at rates higher than anywhere else; in rats, home is defined by sleeping, long stays, food hoarding and parental behavior. Another conspicuous feature of home is identity, which is constituted by the collection of inanimate objects, furnishings and gadgets that personalize each individual’s home. Security is another aspect: home is where you feel safe, and your privacy is protected. Moreover, home behavior is a strong trait that it is manifested even when a physical home is lacking, such as in the case of homeless humans and other animals. Finally, spatiotemporal behavior in the living environment is organized in relation to the home. Indeed, home is a hub for activity, with both humans and non-humans taking trips out from and back to their home, traveling regularly along the same paths and usually stopping at the same locations along them. While there are obvious differences between humans and animals, there are many similarities, and by focusing on the latter, it is suggested that similar biobehavioral systems in humans and non-humans account for the convergence of home behavior to these similar traits.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Proceedings in Complexity
Number of pages23
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Complexity
ISSN (Print)2213-8684
ISSN (Electronic)2213-8692


  • Burrow System
  • Home Base
  • Home Range
  • Homeless People
  • Round Trip


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