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Author Krueger., K.; Farmer, K.
Title Social learning in Horses: Differs from individual learning only in the learning stimulus and not in the learning mechanisms Type (up) Abstract
Year 2018 Publication 14th Meeting of the Internatinoal Society for Equitation Science Abbreviated Journal 14th Meeting ISES
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Keywords horse; individual learning; learning mechanisms; learning stimuli; social learning
Abstract Equine welfare can be enhanced by applying species specific training. This may incorporate social learning, as horses are highly social and social stimuli are of primary importance. Social learning is comparable to individual learning in its learning mechanisms, differing primarily in the way it is stimulated. Our initial study showed that horses of different breeds (N = 38) follow humans after observing other horses doing so, but only if the observed horse was familiar to and higher ranking than the observer (Fisher's exact test: N = 12, P = 0.003). A second study showed that horses and ponies (N = 25) learned to pull a rope to open a feeding apparatus after observing demonstrations by conspecifics, again, only if the demonstrating horse was older and higher ranking than the observer (Fisher's combination test, N = 3, v2 = 27.71, p = 0.006). Our third approach showed that horses and ponies (N = 24) learned to press a switch to open a feeding apparatus after observing a familiar person (GzLM: N = 24, z = 2.33, P = 0.02). Most recently, we confronted horses and ponies (N = 50) with persons demonstrating different techniques for opening a feeding apparatus. In this study we investigated whether the horses would copy the demonstrators' techniques or apply their own. Here only some horses copied the technique, and most of the successful learners used their mouths irrespective of the demonstrators' postures (Chi Square Test: N = 40, df = 2, &#967;2 = 31.4, p < 0.001). In all the approaches social stimuli elicited learning processes in the test horses, while only a few individuals in the control groups mastered the tasks by individual learning. The following behaviour observed in the initial study may have been facilitated by a social stimuli (social facilitation), and the opening of the feed boxes in the subsequent studies appear to be mostly the result of enhancement (social enhancement). Some horses may have used the social stimuli at first and continued their learning process by individual trial and error. However, the horses were also selective in whom and some in how to copy. This may have been conditioned (socially conditioned) or the result of simple forms of reasoning on the reliability of the particular information provided by demonstrators of certain social ranks or social positions, as high ranking and familiar horses and familiar persons were copied and some imitated exactly.

Lay person message: Traditional riding instructions suggest that horses learn by observing other horses. For example, older, more experienced driving horses are used for initial training of young driving horses. We have shown that horses indeed use learning stimuli provided by other horse, as well as by humans. Horses readily accept stimuli observed in high ranking and familiar horses, and familiar persons. Such stimuli elicit learning processes which are comparable to individual learning. We suggest applying social learning whenever possible, as it is much faster and less stressful than individual learning, where learners experience negative outcomes in trial and error learning.
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Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 6405
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Author Kruska, D.
Title Mammalian domestication and its effect on brain structure and behavior Type (up) Book Chapter
Year 1988 Publication Intelligence and Evolutionary Biology Abbreviated Journal
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Publisher Springer-Verlag Place of Publication New York Editor Jerison, H.J.; Jerison, I.
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Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Kruska1988 Serial 6232
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Author Clutton-Brock, J.
Title Origins of the dog: domestication and early history Type (up) Book Chapter
Year 1995 Publication The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour and Interactions with People Abbreviated Journal
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Publisher Cambridge University Press Place of Publication Cambridge Editor Serpell, J.A.
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Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Clutton-Brock1995 Serial 6247
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Author de Jong, T.R.; Neumann, I.D.
Title Oxytocin and Aggression Type (up) Book Chapter
Year 2018 Publication Behavioral Pharmacology of Neuropeptides: Oxytocin Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages 175-192
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Abstract The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has a solid reputation as a facilitator of social interactions such as parental and pair bonding, trust, and empathy. The many results supporting a pro-social role of OT have generated the hypothesis that impairments in the endogenous OT system may lead to antisocial behavior, most notably social withdrawal or pathological aggression. If this is indeed the case, administration of exogenous OT could be the “serenic” treatment that psychiatrists have for decades been searching for.
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Publisher Springer International Publishing Place of Publication Cham Editor Hurlemann, R.; Grinevich, V.
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ISSN ISBN 978-3-319-63739-6 Medium
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Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ de Jong2018 Serial 6424
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Author Van Horik, J.; Clayton, N.; Emery, N.
Title Convergent evolution of cognition in Corvids, Apes and other animals Type (up) Book Chapter
Year 2012 Publication Oxford Handbook of Comparative Evolutionary Psychology Abbreviated Journal
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Publisher Oxford University Press Place of Publication New York Editor Vonk, J.; Shackelford, T.
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Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Van Horik2012 Serial 6284
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Author Zeder, M.A.
Title Pathways to animal domestication Type (up) Book Chapter
Year 2011 Publication Harlan II: Biodiversity in Agriculture: Domestication, Evolution, and Sustainability Abbreviated Journal
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Publisher University of California Place of Publication Davis Editor Damania, A.; Gepts, P.
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Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Zeder2011 Serial 6316
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Author Boitani, L.
Title Patterns of homesites attendance in two Minnesota wolf packs Type (up) Book Chapter
Year 1982 Publication Wolves of the World: Perspectives of Behavior, Ecology and Conservation Abbreviated Journal
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Publisher Noyes, Park Ridge Place of Publication New York Editor Harrington, F.H.; Paquet, P.C.
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Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Boitani1982 Serial 6474
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Author McGreevy, P.; Yeates, J.
Title Horses (Equus caballus) Type (up) Book Chapter
Year 2018 Publication Companion Animal Care and Welfare Abbreviated Journal
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Keywords animal company; behavioural signs; diseases; domestic horses; euthanasia; human interaction; nutritional requirements
Abstract Summary Domestic horses are equid members of the class Mammalia, order Perissodactyla, and family Equidae. Horses are obligate herbivores, with nutritional requirements as listed in a table. Adequate space is necessary for exercise, exploration, flight, sharing resources, play, and rolling. Company is essential for all horses, including stallions. Company provides opportunities for mutual grooming and play and allows horses to stand head-to-tail to remove flies. Unhandled horses may respond to humans as they would to predators, whereas handled horses' responses depend on their previous interactions with humans. Horses can suffer from several diseases as listed in another table. The best method of euthanasia of horses is usually sedation followed by either cranial shooting or the injection of an overdose of pentobarbitone into the jugular vein. Behavioural signs of distress can include increased locomotory activity, vigilance behaviours, neighing, snorting, pawing, nibbling walls and buckets, defaecation, rearing, kicking stable walls or doors, and high-stepping 'prancing'.
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Series Editor Series Title Wiley Online Books Abbreviated Series Title Companion Animal Care and Welfare
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ISSN ISBN 9781119333708 Medium
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Notes doi:10.1002/9781119333708.ch13 Approved no
Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 6506
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Author Lee, P.
Title Adaptation to environmental change:an evolutionary perspective Type (up) Book Chapter
Year 1991 Publication Primate responses to environmental changes Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages 39-56
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Publisher Chapmann & Hall Place of Publication London Editor H. O. Box
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Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 6523
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Author Sol, D.
Title Behavioural flexibility: a neglected issue in the ecological and evolutionary literature Type (up) Book Chapter
Year 2003 Publication Animal innovation. Abbreviated Journal
Volume Issue Pages 63-82
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Publisher Oxford University Press Place of Publication Oxford Editor S. M. Reader and K. N. Laland
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Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 6532
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