Indicators of positive and negative emotions and emotional contagion in pigs

Abstract For the welfare of group-housed animals, such as pigs, the emotional state of an individual pig is relevant, but also the extent to which pen mates are affected by the distress or pleasure of other individuals, i.e. emotional contagion, a simple form of empathy. Therefore, indicators of positive and negative emotions were investigated in […]

Emotional states and emotional contagion in pigs after exposure to a positive and negative treatment

After-effects of events that elicit an emotional state on both the animals that experienced these events and on their group members have only scarcely been studied. We investigated effects of a positive vs. negative treatment on the behaviour and emotional state of pigs and their naive pen mates afterwards. Behaviour of 96 pigs was observed […]

Integrating Tinbergen’s inquiries: Mimicry and play in humans and other social mammals

Visual signals convey emotions and intentions between individuals. Darwin underlined that human facial expressions represent a shared heritage between our species and many other social mammals. Social play is a fertile field to examine the role and the potential communicative function of facial expressions. The relaxed open-mouth (or play face) is a context-specific playful expression, […]