The geometry of locomotive behavioral states in C. elegans

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59865. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059865. Epub 2013 Mar 28.


We develop a new hidden Markov model-based method to analyze C elegans locomotive behavior and use this method to quantitatively characterize behavioral states. In agreement with previous work, we find states corresponding to roaming, dwelling, and quiescence. However, we also find evidence for a continuum of intermediate states. We suggest that roaming, dwelling, and quiescence may best be thought of as extremes which, mixed in any proportion, define the locomotive repertoire of C elegans foraging and feeding behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Aztreonam / pharmacology
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Genotype
  • Locomotion*
  • Markov Chains
  • Models, Biological
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Probability


  • Aztreonam