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Author (up) Sankey, C.; Richard-Yris, M.-A.; Henry, S.; Fureix, C.; Nassur, F.; Hausberger, M. doi  openurl
  Title Reinforcement as a mediator of the perception of humans by horses (Equus caballus) Type Journal Article
  Year 2010 Publication Animal Cognition Abbreviated Journal Anim. Cogn.  
  Volume 13 Issue 5 Pages 753-764-764  
  Keywords Perception of humans – Human/animal relationship – Positive reinforcement – Negative reinforcement – Equus caballus  
  Abstract A central question in the interspecific human/animal relationship is how domestic animals perceive humans as a significant element of their environment. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the use of positive or negative reinforcement in horse training may have consequences on the animalsí perception of humans, as a positive, negative or neutral element. Two groups of ponies were trained to walk backwards in response to a vocal order using either positive or negative reinforcement. Heart rate monitors and behavioural observations were used to assess the animalsí perception of humans on the short (just after training) and long (5 months later) terms. The results showed that the type of reinforcement had a major effect on the subsequent animalsí perception of familiar and unfamiliar humans. Negative reinforcement was rapidly associated with an increased emotional state, as revealed by heart rate measurements and behavioural observations (head movements and ears laid back position). Its use led the ponies to seek less contact with humans. On the contrary, ponies trained with positive reinforcement showed an increased interest in humans and sought contact after training. This is especially remarkable as it was reached in a maximum of 5 sessions of 1 to 3 min (i.e. 5 to 15 min) and had lasting effects (visible after 5 months). Even learning was positively influenced by positive reinforcement. Overall, horses seem capable of associating humans to particular experiences and display extended long-term memory abilities.  
  Address  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Springer Berlin / Heidelberg Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 1435-9448 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5175  
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