Cardiac activity and salivary cortisol concentration of leisure horses in response to the presence of an audience in the arena

The aim of this study was to determine the influence of different forms of an audience’s behavior on the heart work parameters and salivary cortisol level of leisure horses during work. Twelve horses were studied at rest, during standardized work, and at recovery. There was no audience in the arena in the control variant, whereas […]

Behavioral Evidence For The Cutaneous Expression Of Emotion In A Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

Self-directed behaviors (SDBs) are behavioral indicators of stress, but have received relatively little experimental scrutiny. The present study reports the distribution of SDBs in a 14-year-old male chimpanzee in relation to performance on a matching-to-sample task of varying difficulty. The rate of rubbing behaviors (self-touching with the hand without any raking motion of the fingernails) […]

Using The Observer for Animal Behavior Research: Stress and emotions in animals

Animals respond to inputs from their inner and outer environment with physiological and behavioral changes. They try to maintain a stable state by reacting to disturbances of the inner and outer world: their Umwelt. Under natural conditions an animal predicts and controls its Umwelt by feeding, moving, resting, socializing, communicating, etc. It has the freedom […]

The neurobiology of positive emotions

Compared to the study of negative emotions such as fear, the neurobiology of positive emotional processes and the associated positive affect (PA) states has only recently received scientific attention. Biological theories conceptualize PA as being related to (i) signals indicating that bodies are returning to equilibrium among those studying homeostasis, (ii) utility estimation among those […]

Stress and welfare: Two complementary concepts that are intrinsically related to the animal’s point of view

The closely associated concepts of welfare and stress may be considered as opposites since welfare cannot be achieved under stress and vice versa. Stress was first considered as an unspecific response to any challenge taxing the organism’s resources where the HPA axis plays a central role [Selye H. A syndrome produced by diverse nocuous agents. […]

A note on reward-related behaviour and emotional expressions in farmed silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes)–Basis for a novel tool to study animal welfare

The present study aimed to investigate the profile and quantitative aspects of reward-related behaviour and emotional expressions during anticipation of positive (predictable or various unpredictable) or negative (predictable) rewards in a Pavlovian trace conditioning paradigm in farmed silver foxes. When anticipating a positive reward, silver foxes were more active, performed more stereotypical behaviour, had more […]

How important is natural behaviour in animal farming systems?

It is often assumed and demanded that for a good welfare, farm animals should be given “the freedom to express their natural behaviour”. This demand is problematic for at least two reasons. First, natural behaviour is difficult to delineate because of its variability and flexibility. Second, some behavioural patterns that are clearly natural are in […]

Cognitive ability and awareness in domestic animals and decisions about obligations to animals

Observation of behaviour, especially social behaviour, and experimental studies of learning and brain function give us information about the complexity of concepts that animals have. In order to learn to obtain a resource or carry out an action, domestic animals may: relate stimuli such as human words to the reward, perform sequences of actions including […]

Emotional experience in sheep: Predictability of a sudden event lowers subsequent emotional responses

The study of emotions in animals can be approached thanks to a framework derived from appraisal theories developed in cognitive psychology, according to which emotions are triggered when the individual evaluates challenging events. This evaluation is based on a limited number of criteria such as the familiarity and the predictability of an event. If animals […]

Cognitive sciences to relate ear postures to emotions in sheep

Emotions are now largely recognised as a core element in animal welfare issues. However, convenient indicators to reliably infer emotions are still needed. As such, the availability of behavioural postures analogous to facial expressions in humans would be extremely valuable for animal studies of emotions. The purpose of this paper is to find out stable […]