CircStat: A MATLAB Toolbox for Circular Statistics

Philipp Berens

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Directional data is ubiquitious in science. Due to its circular nature such data cannot be analyzed with commonly used statistical techniques. Despite the rapid development of specialized methods for directional statistics over the last fifty years, there is only little software available that makes such methods easy to use for practioners. Most importantly, one of the most commonly used programming languages in biosciences, MATLAB, is currently not supporting directional statistics. To remedy this situation, we have implemented the CircStat toolbox for MATLAB which provides methods for the descriptive and inferential statistical analysis of directional data. We cover the statistical background of the available methods and describe how to apply them to data. Finally, we analyze a dataset from neurophysiology to demonstrate the capabilities of the CircStat toolbox.

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