Long Timescales, Individual Differences, and Scale Invariance in Animal Behavior

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The explosion of data on animal behavior in more natural contexts highlights the fact that these behaviors exhibit correlations across many timescales. However, there are major challenges in analyzing these data: records of behavior in single animals have fewer independent samples than one might expect. In pooling data from multiple animals, individual differences can mimic long-ranged temporal correlations; conversely, long-ranged correlations can lead to an overestimate of individual differences. We suggest an analysis scheme that addresses these problems directly, apply this approach to data on the spontaneous behavior of walking flies, and find evidence for scale-invariant correlations over nearly three decades in time, from seconds to one hour. Three different measures of correlation are consistent with a single underlying scaling field of dimension Δ=0.180±0.005.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number048401
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 26 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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