Animal behaviour: cognitive bias and affective state.

Information processing by humans can be biased by their emotions — for example, anxious and depressed people tend to make negative judgements about events and to interpret ambiguous stimuli unfavourably1, 2, 3, 4. Here we show that such a ‘pessimistic’ response bias can also be measured in rats that are housed in unpredictable conditions5, 6. […]

Responses of slaughter pigs to transport and lairage sounds

The behavioral and physiological responses of pigs to transport and subsequent exposure to slaughterhouse sounds were examined. Forty-one groups of four slaughter pigs were separately loaded onto a lorry and transported for 25 min. Another 43 groups were loaded onto the lorry which then remained stationary for 25 min. Following unloading pigs were moved to […]

Behavioral thermoregulatory responses of single- and group-housed mice.

The ambient temperature (Ta) to house and study laboratory rodents is critical for nearly all biomedical studies. The ideal Ta for housing rodents and other animals should be based on their thermoregulatory requirements. However, fundamental information on the behavioral thermoregulatory responses of single- and group-housed rodents is meager. To address this issue, thermoregulatory behavior was […]

Nonenculturated Orangutans’ (Pongo pygmaeus) Use of Experimenter-Given Manual and Facial Cues in an Object-Choice Task

Several experiments have been performed, to examine whether nonhuman primates are able to make use of experimenter-given manual and facial (visual) cues to direct their attention to a baited object. Contrary to the performance of prosimians and monkeys, great apes repeatedly have shown task efficiency in experiments such as these. However, many great ape subjects […]

Modified Prenatal Sensory Stimulation Influences Postnatal Behavioral and Perceptual Responsiveness in Bobwhite Quail Chicks (Colinus virginianus)

Asynchronous bimodal stimulation during prenatal development elicits higher levels of behavioral and physiological arousal in precocial avian embryos than does unimodal sensory stimulation. To investigate whether the increased arousal associated with prenatal bimodal stimulation has enduring effects into postnatal development, bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) embryos received no supplemental stimulation, unimodal auditory stimulation, or bimodal (audiovisual) […]

Snake Mating Systems, Behavior, and Evolution: The Revisionary Implications of Recent Findings

Sexual selection and mating systems profoundly influence the behavior and psychology of animals. Using their own studies of green anacondas (Eunectes murinus) and reviewing other recent studies, the authors conclude that incomplete data derived from a few well-studied snake species have led to general acceptance of polygyny as the dominant mating system in snakes. New […]

Management factors affecting stereotypies and body condition score in nonracing horses in Prince Edward Island

In North America, there are few representative data about the effects of management practices on equine welfare. In a randomized survey of 312 nonracing horses in Prince Edward Island (response rate 68.4%), owners completed a pretested questionnaire and a veterinarian examined each horse. Regression analyses identified factors affecting 2 welfare markers: body condition score (BCS) […]

The effects of environmental control on cognition in rats (Rattus norvegicus)

The aim of this study was to allow nonhuman animals to control their environment using operant conditioning procedures and to assess the effect of control on cognitive tasks. The study tested 4 predictions: (a) rats (Rattus norvegicus) will control a light stimulus; (b) animals will exhibit preferences for particular stimulus strengths; (c) animals who exert […]