Interactive Roaming Entropy App
Roaming entropy was developed as an ethologically valid index of explorative behavior of mice (Freund et al., 2013). In their experiment, Freund et al. found a correlation of roaming entropy and brain plasticity. Mice who explored their habitat more broadly also grew more new neurons in the hippocampus.
This is an interactive game to illustrate the relation of explorative behavior of a mouse and roaming entropy as a measure of its complexity.
Below, you find a bird's eye's view on an enriched enclosure housing a single mouse. A four by four grid of antennas, whose coverage is depicted as blue squares, is used to track the mouse behavior.
Move the mouse over the cage and watch the change in roaming entropy below.
As you move your mouse through the cage, it's path is tracked and roaming entropy is calculated for a recent time window. The frequency with which your virtual mouse has visited different antenna cells is color-coded: the more frequent, the darker the cell. The roaming entropy of this path is displayed in the green box below. Click on the cage to erase the path history and to start all over.
- What behavior leads to minimal roaming entropy?
- What behavior leads to maximal roaming entropy?
- What is the highest roaming entropy you can expect from a mouse just going back and forth?
You find more about our research on roaming entropy and it's relevance as an indicator of explorative behavior for research on brain plasticity here:
Freund, J., Brandmaier, A. M., Lewejohann, L., Kirste, I., Kritzler, M., Krüger, A., Sachser, N., Lindenberger, U., & Kempermann, G. (2013). Emergence of individuality in genetically identical mice. Science, 340(6133), 756-759. doi:10.1126/science.1235294
(c) 2014, Andreas Brandmaier, http://www.brandmaier.de