This work presents a non-invasive high-throughput system for automatically detecting characteristic behaviours in mice over extended periods of time, useful for phenotyping experiments. The system classifies time intervals on the order of 2 to 4 seconds as corresponding to motions consistent with either active wake or inactivity associated with sleep. A single Polyvinylidine Difluoride (PVDF) sensor on the cage floor generates signals from motion resulting in pressure. This paper develops a linear classifier based on robust features extracted from normalized power spectra and autocorrelation functions, as well as novel features from the collapsed average (autocorrelation of complex spectrum), which characterize transient and periodic properties of the signal envelope. Performance is analyzed through an experiment comparing results from direct human observation and classification of the different behaviours with an automatic classifier used in conjunction with this system. Experimental results from over 28.5 hours of data from 4 mice indicate a 94% classification rate relative to the human observations. Examples of sequential classifications (2 second increments) over transition regions between sleep and wake behaviour are also presented to demonstrate robust performance to signal variation and explain performance limitations.

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Published in BioMedical Engineering OnLine, v. 7, 14.

© 2008 Donohue et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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