Judgement bias in pigs is independent of performance in a spatial holeboard task and conditional discrimination learning.

Roelofs, S; Murphy, Eimear Mary; Ni, H; Gieling, E; Nordquist, RE; van der Staay, FJ (2017). Judgement bias in pigs is independent of performance in a spatial holeboard task and conditional discrimination learning. Animal Cognition, 20(4), pp. 739-753. Springer 10.1007/s10071-017-1095-5

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Biases in judgement of ambiguous stimuli, as measured in a judgement bias task, have been proposed as a measure of the valence of affective states in animals. We recently suggested a list of criteria for behavioural tests of emotion, one of them stating that responses on the task used to assess emotionality should not be confounded by, among others, differences in learning capacity, i.e. must not simply reflect the cognitive capacity of an animal. We performed three independent studies in which pigs acquired a spatial holeboard task, a free choice maze which simultaneously assesses working memory and reference memory. Next, pigs learned a conditional discrimination between auditory stimuli predicting a large or small reward, a prerequisite for assessment of judgement bias. Once pigs had acquired the conditional discrimination task, optimistic responses to previously unheard ambiguous stimuli were measured in the judgement bias task as choices indicating expectation of the large reward. We found that optimism in the judgement bias task was independent of all three measures of learning and memory indicating that the performance is not dependent on the pig's cognitive abilities. These results support the use of biases in judgement as proxy indicators of emotional valence in animals.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute > Animal Welfare Division
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Murphy, Eimear Mary

ISSN:

1435-9448

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Jeremy Davidson Bailoo

Date Deposited:

13 Sep 2017 11:00

Last Modified:

23 Feb 2021 21:44

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10071-017-1095-5

PubMed ID:

28508125

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.101133

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/101133

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