Data analysis

EthoVision XT makes data collection easy and straightforward, but of course you will also need to analyze this data. EthoVision XT helps you out in that department, too. It has powerful tools for data selection, visualization, and analysis.  

Visualizing your data

Visualizing your data is an important step in analysis, and can be done in several ways and at several points in time. While plotting your data in graphs is useful after selection and analysis, visualization of the tracks superimposed on the video file (integrated visualization) is helpful in the beginning steps of analysis, because it gives you a good feel for the data. Additionally, when you are interested in certain behaviors such as body elongation or mobility, use the visualization function to fine-tune the thresholds for these behaviors. You can also view all tracks side by side and even export these images at high resolution. 

This part of the software also has a built-in screen recording tool, allowing you to make a video of the integrated visualization which you can use for presentations. 

Data selection

EthoVision XT’s data selection tools let you evaluate certain subsets of each trial. Selecting the data, for example, in which animals received a specific treatment allows you to analyze only those data and ignore the rest. Or nest your data on time, zone or a behavioral or physiological state. 

Data smoothing

In any tracking system, there are three sources of noise that potentially skew the values of dependent variables such as distance moved or velocity; system noise, outliers, and small movements of the animal (body wobble). EthoVision XT includes tools to smooth out your data. 

Data analysis

The number of parameters that can be used for analysis is substantial, including trial duration, in zone, distance to zone, distance to zone border, distance moved, velocity, heading, turn angle, angular velocity, mobility, proximity, rotations, elongation, body angle, acceleration, etc. Statistics include mean, variance, standard deviation, standard error, minimum, maximum, sum, total, number of samples, and more.

For example: use elongation, mobility, and head direction parameters when you are performing a novel object recognition test, a plus maze test, or a fear conditioning test. The stretch-attend posture, characterized by elongation of the animal’s body, is often considered a response to an object that incites fear or curiosity. Additionally, time spent immobile serves as a measure of fear. The rotation parameter is very useful in research on brain defects. Acceleration can be used to analyze swim burst acceleration in fish.

All external data integrated into your EthoVision XT project can be analyzed in a similar (integrated) manner. 

Automatic and batch analysis

In addition to batch acquisition, you can also perform automatic analysis and batch analysis. First, select which parts of your data need to be analyzed. Then select the independent variables you are interested in. Now EthoVision XT will automatically analyze your data according to these settings right after the trial has ended or, in the case of batch analysis, after the selected trials have been acquired.

Read more about how EthoVision XT makes your research more efficient.


In addition to integrated visualization, a heatmap gives you an intuitive and unique view of your data. You can export these at high resolution for use in presentations and publications. 

heatmap treated
A heatmap can give you an instant feel for your data. Here a treated animal...
heatmap control compared to a control animal. 

Group statistics and charts

With EthoVision XT you can easily compare the results between treatment groups, for example by using graphs. You can organize and adjust the designs of these graphs and export them in any standard format (PNG, JPG, BMP, GIF).


Analysis of hardware events

If you are using EthoVision XT to control external equipment, you can also analyze these hardware events within the software. Read more