G.V. Gkoutos, R. Hoehndorf, L. Tsaprouni, P.N. Schofield
26(9), 540-547, (2015)
The development of ontologies for describing animal behaviour has proved to be one of the most difficult of all scientific knowledge domains. Ranging from neurological processes to human emotions, the range and scope needed for such ontologies is highly challenging, but if data integration and computational tools such as automated reasoning are to be fully applied in this important area the underlying principles of these ontologies need to be better established and development needs detailed coordination. Whilst the state of scientific knowledge is always paramount in ontology and formal description framework design, this is a particular problem with neurobehavioural ontologies where our understanding of the relationship between behaviour and its underlying biophysical basis is currently in its infancy. In this commentary, we discuss some of the fundamental problems in designing and using behaviour ontologies, and present some of the best developed tools in this domain.