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An Unsupervised Method for Quantifying the Behavior of Interacting Individuals

Author(s): Klibaite, Ugne; Berman, Gordon J.; Cande, Jessica; Stern, David L.; Shaevitz, Joshua W.

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Abstract: Behaviors involving the interaction of multiple individuals are complex and frequently crucial for an animal's survival. These interactions, ranging across sensory modalities, length scales, and time scales, are often subtle and difficult to characterize. Contextual effects on the frequency of behaviors become even more difficult to quantify when physical interaction between animals interferes with conventional data analysis, e.g. due to visual occlusion. We introduce a method for quantifying behavior in fruit fly interaction that combines high-throughput video acquisition and tracking of individuals with recent unsupervised methods for capturing an animal's entire behavioral repertoire. We find behavioral differences between solitary flies and those paired with an individual of the opposite sex, identifying specific behaviors that are affected by social and spatial context. Our pipeline allows for a comprehensive description of the interaction between two individuals using unsupervised machine learning methods, and will be used to answer questions about the depth of complexity and variance in fruit fly courtship.
Publication Date: 16-Feb-2017
Citation: Klibaite, U., Berman, G. J., Cande, J., Stern, D. L., & Shaevitz, J. W. (2017). An unsupervised method for quantifying the behavior of paired animals. Physical Biology, 14(1), 015006.
DOI: doi:10.1088/1478-3975/aa5c50
ISSN: 1478-3967
EISSN: 1478-3975
Pages: 1 - 11
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Physical Biology
Version: Author's manuscript

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