Navigation Links
How can we measure the emotional states of animals?
Date:5/20/2008

Rats housed in standard conditions show a stronger response to the loss of an expected food reward than those housed in enriched conditions, perhaps indicating a more negative emotional state, according to new research by scientists at Bristol University Veterinary School, published in this week's issue of Royal Society Biology Letters.

The researchers have developed a new approach to the measurement of animal emotional states based on findings from human psychology that emotions affect information processing. In general, people are more sensitive to reward losses than gains, but depressed people are particularly sensitive to losses. The researchers wanted to know whether animals' sensitivity to reward loss might also be related to their emotional state.

Many studies have demonstrated beneficial welfare effects of enriched compared to barren housing, and the researchers found that rats housed in standard conditions, previously shown to experience poorer welfare than those housed in enriched conditions, were indeed more sensitive to the unanticipated loss of a food reward. Oliver Burman, Richard Parker, Liz Paul and Mike Mendl from the Centre for Behavioural Biology at Bristol University consider the research indicates that sensitivity to reward reduction may be a valuable new indicator of animal emotion and welfare.

"The study of animal emotion is an important emerging field in subjects ranging from neuroscience to animal welfare research. Whilst we cannot know for sure what other animals feel, our approach may provide improved methods for indirectly measuring animal emotion and welfare," said Professor Mendl.

Dr Burman further explained, "Parallel studies using this approach in humans and animals may also reveal cross-species commonalities in the influence of affect on reward evaluation. Our next step is to see whether other reward evaluation processes involving contrasts between expected and actual rewards also reflect background emotional state."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joanne Fryer
joanne.fryer@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-331-7276
University of Bristol
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Bioengineers at University of Pennsylvania devise nanoscale system to measure cellular forces
2. UCR engineers to develop new tool to measure how environmental exposures affect health
3. New microsensor measures volatile organic compounds in water and air on-site
4. Unprecedented global measurement network achieves full coverage of oceans
5. Measurement Specialties, Inc. Announces Impact of German Business Tax Reform 2008 Resulting in Lower Combined German Tax Rate - Impacts 2Q08 Reported Financial Results
6. US government delays nanotechnology safety measures
7. Worldwide atmospheric measurements will determine the role of atmospheric fine particles
8. Scientists develop new measure of socioclimactic risk
9. Penn engineers create carbon nanopipettes that are smaller than cells and measure electric current
10. NASA satellite measures pollution from east Asia to North America
11. LDL particle measurement by NMR recognized by ADA, ACC
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of X-ray Imaging ... digital and computed radiography markets in Thailand ... Indonesia (TIM). It provides an in-depth ... well as regional market drivers and restraints. The study ... and market attractiveness, both for digital and computed radiography. ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... , Feb. 1, 2016  Wocket® smart wallet ( www.wocketwallet.com ) announces ... personality, Joey Fatone . Las Vegas , ... --> Las Vegas , where Joey appeared ... The new video ad was filmed at the Consumer Electronics Show ... the Wocket booth to meet and greet fans. ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... January 22, 2016 ... addition of the  "Global Behavioral Biometric ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ) has ... Behavioral Biometric Market 2016-2020"  report to ... and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/4lmf2s/global_behavioral ) has announced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/3/2016)... 3, 2016 New Jersey Health Foundation (NJHF) ... million for researchers in New Jersey ... that demonstrates exciting potential.   James ... the New Jersey Health Foundation Research Grant Program ... educational institutions— Princeton University, Rutgers University, Rowan University ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... StarNet Communications Corp, ... today announced the addition of a powerful “Session Preview” feature to its FastX ... state of the remote Linux desktop or other applications (sessions) they have running ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... 3, 2016  Today, Symphony Technology Group (STG) announced ... a leading provider of primary research and analytics-based insight ... Health , a global information and technology services company ... technologies will be integrated into IMS Health to form ... research capabilities. ...
(Date:2/3/2016)... ... February 03, 2016 , ... Marktech Optoelectronics, ... and wafers, and InP epi wafers based in Latham, New York, offers a ... transistors, and Avalanche photodiodes–to Si and InGaAs PIN photodiodes. But it is Marktech's ...
Breaking Biology Technology: