Data from: Motion analysis of non-model organisms using a hierarchical model: influence of setup enclosure dimensions on gait parameters of Swinhoe’s striped squirrels as a test case
Falk, Mielke; Vivian, Schunke; Wölfer, Jan; Nyakatura, John A. (2019), Data from: Motion analysis of non-model organisms using a hierarchical model: influence of setup enclosure dimensions on gait parameters of Swinhoe’s striped squirrels as a test case, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.10rn5
In in-vivo motion analyses, data from a limited number of subjects and trials is used as proxy for locomotion properties of entire populations, yet the inherent hierarchy of the individual and population level is usually not accounted for. Despite the increasing availability of hierarchical model frameworks for statistical analyses, they have not been applied extensively to comparative motion analysis. As a case study for the use of hierarchical models, we analyzed locomotor parameters of four Swinhoe’s striped squirrels. The small-bodied arboreal mammals exhibit brief bouts of rapid asymmetric gaits. Spatio-temporal parameters on runways with experimentally varied dimensions of the setup enclosure were compared to test for its potentially confounding effects. We applied principal component analysis to evaluate changes to the overall locomotor pattern. A common, non-hierarchical, pooled statistical analysis of the data revealed significant differences in some of the parameters depending on enclosure dimensions. In contrast, we used a hierarchical Bayesian generalized linear model (GLM) that considers subject specific differences and population effects to compare the effect of enclosure dimensions on the measured parameters and the principal components. None of the population effects were confirmed by the hierarchical GLM. The confounding effect of a single subject that deviates in its locomotor behavior is potentially bigger than the influence of the experimental variation in enclosure dimensions. Our findings justify the common practice of researchers to intuitively select an enclosure with dimensions assumed as “non-constraining”. Hierarchical models can easily be designed to cope with limited sample size and bias introduced by deviating behavior of individuals. When limited data is available—a typical restriction of in-vivo motion analyses of non-model organisms—density distributions of the Bayesian GLM used here remain reliable and the hierarchical structure of the model optimally exploits all available information. We provide code to be adjusted to other research questions.
National Science Foundation, Award: DZG EXC 1027