Mouse Ethogram mousebehavior.org



Understanding behavior pages

Each page describing a behavior has a standard format. Understanding this formatting will help you get the most out of the ethogram. In part this formatting reflects the organization of behavior, and this ethogram in terms of Behavior Chains, as well as the logic of Ethograms in general. Thus, the links on a behavior's page will allow you to navigate up and down the behavior chain, and will also explain the links between behavior sin the same chain; different contexts in which the behavior (or the chain) may be observed; and different subtle variants of the behavior. When these variants have different meanings, they will link out to separate pages, but when they are simply different postures or patterns that mean essentially the same thing, they will be documented on the same page.

Each behavior page will have the following headings:


Overview and Meaning

This section explains the meaning of the behavior in global terms, and its relationships to other behaviors in the same Behavior chain. This section is particularly important when you need to interpret a behavior, and you will see that the Protocols given for different research questions reflect the meaning of the behaviors outlined in this section.

Behaviors/Description

For top-level behaviors (which typically reflect a Behavior chain), this section lists links to the behaviors that make it up, under the heading "Behaviors".

For individual behaviors this section provides an operationalized description of the behavior that enables the exhaustive and exclusive nature of the ethogram (see About ethograms) that will enable you to uniquely classify each behavior you observe. 

Classification

This section provides links to higher-level categories that the behavior belongs to.

Contexts

This section gives the different contexts under which a behavior may occur. Contexts may be important in different Protocols - for instance, you may want to distinguish social from environmental Investigation, even though the behavior performed (in terms of movements or postures) may be virtually identical. In this case the wider context of the behavior (such as the target of the behavior, or preceding, or following behaviors) must be distinguished to identify the context.

Variants

This section lists different subtle variants of the behavior in terms of posture or movement. When these variants have different meanings, they will link out to separate pages, but when they are simply different postures or movements that mean essentially the same thing, they will be documented on the same page.

Following the variants video examples will be provided. When multiple variants are documented, the video will be titled with the relevant variant.

 

Stanford Medicine Resources: