Measuring judgement bias and emotional reactivity in sheep following long-term exposure to unpredictable and aversive events

Animal welfare research is now starting to measure the cognitive component of affective states in an effort to improve welfare assessments of animals. Twenty-six Romane ewe lambs were trained to a spatial location task previously demonstrated to test for judgement bias in sheep. This required a go/no-go response according to the location of a bucket […]

Exploration and risk assessment in female wild house mice (Mus musculus musculus) and two laboratory strains

In an evolutionary prospective, it is possible that female mice have a differential perception of novel events than male mice and use a different behavioural strategy for risk assessment. However, female mice are less studied than male mice in behavioural tests of emotional reactivity. The aim of the present study was to investigate how wild-derived […]

Evaluation of exploration and risk assessment in pre-weaning mice using the novel cage test

Exploration and risk behaviour (risk assessment/risk taking) are critical to enable mice to cope with novel situations and gain control over their environment. Evaluation of those behaviours would therefore be a useful part of early phenotypic characterization of genetically modified mice, allowing early detection of behavioural phenotypes that require special attention and/or are of scientific […]

Gender-specific effects of prenatal stress on emotional reactivity and stress physiology of goat kids

The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of maternal stress during pregnancy on the emotional reactivity, the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, and the sympatho-adrenomedullary (SAM) system of goat offspring according to their gender, and to investigate the role of maternal cortisol in prenatal stress effects. Goats were exposed to ten transports in isolation […]

Behavioral profiles and stress-induced corticosteroid secretion in male Wistar rats subjected to short and prolonged periods of maternal separation

Early life experiences are important for the development of neurobiobehavioral mechanisms and subsequent establishment of mental functions. In experimental animals, early life experiences can be studied using the maternal separation model. Maternal separation has been described to induce neurobiological changes and thus affect brain function, mental state and behavior. We have established a protocol in […]

Young Blond d’Aquitaine, Angus and Limousin bulls differ in emotional reactivity: Relationships with animal traits, stress reactions at slaughter and post-mortem muscle metabolism

The present study investigated relationships between reactivity during tests, stress reactions at slaughter and animal traits in young Blond d’Aquitaine (BA), Limousin (LI) and Angus (AN) bulls. Behavioural and physiological reactivity of animals was evaluated during rearing using a “Human test” (exposure to human presence and handling) and an “Umbrella test (exposure to a sudden […]

Unpredictable and repeated negative stimuli increased emotional reactivity in male quail

Chronic stress is considered detrimental for an individual as it is a long-lasting negative emotional state, without or with a limited habituation. The reactivity and sensitivity of animals to stressors depend on the animal’s organismic characteristics such as sex. In poultry, the studies dealing with chronic stress were mainly performed on females. Our study then […]

Impact of prenatal stress and environmental enrichment prior to weaning on activity and social behaviour of piglets (Sus scrofa)

Prenatal stress (PNS) can have detrimental effects on behaviour and welfare, such as decreased exploration. Whether housing enrichment before weaning compensate negative effect of PNS in commercial pigs is unknown. To address this question, 44 sows were assigned to either a mixing stress (T) or a control (C) treatment in mid-gestation. During lactation, half of […]