Quantifying the buildup in extent and complexity of free exploration in mice

Yoav Benjamini, Ehud Fonio, Tal Galili, Gregor Z. Havkin, Ilan Golani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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: iterative processes that increase in extent and complexity, whose presumed function is a systematic active management of input acquired during the exploration of a novel environment. We use this study to demonstrate our approach to quantifying behavior: targeting aspects of behavior that are shown to be actively managed by the animal, and using measures that are discriminative across strains and treatments and replicable across laboratories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15580-15587
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
StatePublished - 13 Oct 2011


  • Dimensionality emergence assay
  • Dynamics of behavior
  • Open field test
  • Phenotyping mouse behavior
  • Sequences of repeated motion


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