The user will normally not need to call this function directly. Use read_experiment instead.

read_arena(filename, description = NULL)



A file specifying the arena.


A data.frame containing parameters specifying the arena. If supplied, the filename argument will be ignored. This is intended for internal use only and can be ignored.


An rtrack_arena object containing a representation of the arena, which can be passed to read_path.


Every path must be accompanied by a description of the "arena". This description includes arena size, goal coordinates etc. and is unique for every combination of these (i.e. a different arena description file is required for goal reversal trials).

The type parameter specifies the type of experiment. Current options are mwm (for Morris water maze), barnes (Barnes maze), oft (open field test), nor (novel object recognition task) and apa (active place avoidance, also known as the carousel maze). For the water maze, Barnes maze and APA, the pool/arena and goal platforms/holes are restricted to being circular (the square platforms sometimes used for MWM are approximated by a circle of a diameter equal to the width of the square. This is because the rotational orientation of square platforms is seldom recorded (the behaviour of the package regarding this detail may be changed in future versions).

This function does not need to be explicitly called if read_experiment is being used (in that case, specify the arena file names in the column "_Arena").

Quadrants are defined such that the goal is centred around the north quadrant. Note that this means that the quadrant assignment will change in the case of a goal reversal experiment. This simplifies the experiment set-up considerably without imposing restrictions on more complex (e.g. multiple reversal) study designs.

See also

read_path, and also read_experiment for processing many tracks at once.


arena_description <- system.file("extdata", "Arena.txt", package = "Rtrack")
arena <- read_arena(arena_description)