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

  id = NULL,
  track.format = "none",
  track.index = NULL,
  interpolate = FALSE,
  time.bounds = c(NA, NA)



A raw data file containing path coordinates. See details for supported formats.


The arena object associated with this track. This is required to calibrate the track coordinates to the coordinate space of the arena.


An optional name for the experiment. Default is to generate this from the filename provided.


The format of the raw file.


Only for formats where multiple tracks are stored in one file (ignored otherwise). This parameter indicates which section of the file corresponds to the track to be read. The exact usage depends on the format being read.


Should missing data points be interpolated. Default is FALSE. Interpolation is performed at evenly-spaced intervals after removing outliers.


A vector of length 2 specifying the bounds on the measurement times (see Details).


An rtrack_path object containing the extracted swim path. This is a list comprised of the components raw.t (timestamp), raw.x (x coordinates), raw.y (y coordinates),t, x and y (normalised, cleaned and possibly interpolated coordinates).


Raw data from several sources can be read in directly. The formats currently supported are 'ethovision.xt.excel' (for swim paths exported from the latest Ethovision software), 'ethovision.3.csv' (for data exported from the older Ethovision version 3) and 'raw.csv'. The 'raw.csv' format is a simple comma-delimited text file containing three columns 'Time', 'X' and 'Y'. The timestamp values in 'Time' should be in seconds from the start of the trial recording and coordinates should be in real-world units (e.g. cm, in).

If interpolate is set to TRUE, then the raw data will be cleaned to remove outlier points and ensure that time points are evenly spaced. The following procedures are used: 1. any points with missing coordinate data are removed; 2. any points lying outside the arena are removed: 3. any points with excessive inter-point distances (outliers) are removed by first removing points that are more than 1 SD from the mean distance, then recalculating the mean and SD and repeating this step - this is typically sufficient to remove noise from video tracking (such as reflections from a water maze pool); 4. new time intervals are calculated from the first non-missing data point to the last using the sampling rate of the raw data; 5. interpolation of x and y values is performed at the new time points using the 'constant' interpolation method from approx.

The raw path recordings can be truncated if necessary by specifying the time.bounds parameter. This is a vector of length 2 containing the earliest and latest time points that should be retained for analysis (any points outside these bounds will be discarded). A value of NA indicates that the path should not be truncated at that end (default is c(NA, NA) meaning that the path will extend to the start and end of the recorded values). The units used must match the time units in the track files. This option should not normally need to be set, but may be useful if data acquisition begins before, or ends after, the actual experimental trial (e.g. if recording was running during entry and exit from the arena).

See also

read_arena, identify_track_format to identify the format code for your raw data, and also read_experiment for processing many tracks at once.


require(Rtrack) track_file <- system.file("extdata", "Track_1.csv", package = "Rtrack") arena_description <- system.file("extdata", "Arena_SW.txt", package = "Rtrack") arena <- read_arena(arena_description) path <- read_path(track_file, arena, track.format = "ethovision.3.csv")