We investigated whether exposure to environmental enrichment engenders optimistic responses to
ambiguous stimuli. Rats, Rattus norvegicus, were trained on a novel conditional FG-4592 order discrimination task whereby they learned the correct response necessary to obtain a food reward given the stimulus present during approach (rough or smooth sandpaper). One stimulus was associated with a higher-value reward than the other. Once the rats were trained, cognitive bias was probed by exploring their responses to an ambiguous stimulus (intermediate grade of sandpaper); a rat was defined as optimistic if it chose the response appropriate to the stimulus associated with the better reward. Animals transferred from unenriched to enriched cages showed more optimistic responses following the change. A control group maintained in unenriched cages showed pessimistic
responses throughout. These results demonstrate for the first time that environmental enrichment can induce an optimistic cognitive bias in rats previously housed in standard caging, possibly indicative of a more positive affective state. These results add support to the suggestion that measuring cognitive biases can give an insight into animal emotional states; this has implications for animal welfare and preclinical testing of potential therapeutics for mood disorders. (c) 2010 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.”
“Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K. S., Shah, M. A., Church, J. S., Haley, D. B., Janzen, K., Truong, G., Atkins, R. P. and Crowe, T. J. 2012. AS1842856 supplier A comparison of commonly used and novel electronic techniques for evaluating selleckchem cattle temperament. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 92: 21-31. The temperament of steers (n = 28) was assessed using five quantitative techniques including: flight time, flight distance, electronic (strain-gauge and accelerometer) tests, and three visual scores (VS) made during entry, restraint and exit from a squeeze chute. The objective of this study was to determine the most important predictive parameters
based on those measurements and evaluate the relationship between the techniques. Flight time and distance were correlated with exit VS (r = -0.51, and 0.41, P < 0.05; n = 56), but were not related to restraint VS. Data from strain-gauge and accelerometer sensors were used to generate parameters such as peak response and area under the curve that were correlated with all three VS. Regression models using VS as the dependent variable and a combination of 2 to 5 parameters from the strain-gauge and accelerometer tests as independent variables predicted temperament with values of 29 to 65 or 41 to 57%, respectively. When all techniques, excluding VS, were used as independent variables, model accuracy increased to 72, 81 and 77% for restraint, exit and the sum of all VS, respectively.