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Author Notes:

Gordon J. Berman: Department of Biology, Emory University, 1510 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, 30322 GA USA. Email: gordon.berman@emory.edu

The author would like to thank Avani Wildani, Alex Gomez-Marin, Itai Pinkoviezky, Jennifer Rieser, Carlos Rodriguez, and Kun Tian for comments and suggestions on the manuscript.

The author declares no competing interests.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Research Funding:

This work was partially supported by NIMH 1R01MH115831-01.


  • physics.bio-ph
  • physics.bio-ph
  • q-bio.NC
  • q-bio.QM

Measuring behavior across scales


Journal Title:

BMC Biology


Volume 16, Number 1


Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


The need for high-throughput, precise, and meaningful methods for measuring behavior has been amplified by our recent successes in measuring and manipulating neural circuitry. The largest challenges associated with moving in this direction, however, are not technical but are instead conceptual: what numbers should one put on the movements an animal is performing (or not performing)? In this review, I will describe how theoretical and data analytical ideas are interfacing with recently-developed computational and experimental methodologies to answer these questions across a variety of contexts, length scales, and time scales. I will attempt to highlight commonalities between approaches and areas where further advances are necessary to place behavior on the same quantitative footing as other scientific fields.

Copyright information:

© 2018 Berman

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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