Our understanding of consistent individual differences in behaviour — or ‘traits’ — in non-human species is limited. Forkosh et al. placed 168 mice in groups of 4 in ‘social boxes’ and used automatic location tracking to record each animal’s behaviour over 4 days. They used a linear discriminant analysis of 60 behavioural dimensions to identify four ‘identity domains’ (IDs) with high between-individual discriminative ability and high within-individual stability over time, even when mice were placed in different groups. ID scores correlated with scores on multiple behavioural assays and with transcriptomic variance in certain brain regions.
Forkosh, O. et al. Identity domains capture individual differences from across the behavioral repertoire. Nat. Neurosci. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-019-0516-y (2019)