A method to analyze the spatial distribution of behavior

Elias Robles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This article presents a method comprising an experimental environment, infrared detection system, data collection and processing software, behavior categories, and suggested quantitative analysis methods for studying some spatial properties of behavior. In the chamber, the location of a rat is determined at regular intervals by a 24 × 24 grid of infrared beams; the status of each line used interactively to determine changes in the environment are stored on disk for later analysis. From the status of the receptors, the computer decodes the location of objects in the chamber, and a binary 576-cell matrix is obtained for each sample. The series of matrices allows a number of behavior categories to be defined including exploration, activity, and time allocation. Exploration curves and time allocation surfaces are compared using a goodness-of-fit test; activity is assessed with time-series methods. Potential applications to psychological, pharmacological, and ethological research are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)540-549
Number of pages10
JournalBehavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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