2020 Volume 20 Pages 44-53
Although the open-field test has been widely used, its reliability and compatibility are frequently questioned. Many indicating parameters were introduced for this test; however, they did not take data distributions into consideration. This oversight may have caused the problems mentioned above. Here, an exploratory approach for the analysis of video records of tests of elderly mice was taken that described the distributions using the least number of parameters. The locomotor activity of the animals was separated into two clusters: dash and search. The accelerations found in each of the clusters were distributed normally. The speed and the duration of the clusters exhibited an exponential distribution. Although the exponential model includes a single parameter, an additional parameter that indicated instability of the behaviour was required in many cases for fitting to the data. As this instability parameter exhibited an inverse correlation with speed, the function of the brain that maintained stability would be required for a better performance. According to the distributions, the travel distance, which has been regarded as an important indicator, was not a robust estimator of the animals’ condition.