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Horses failed to learn from humans by observation

Rørvang, Maria Vilain and Bach Nielsen, Tina and Christensen, Janne Winther (2020). Horses failed to learn from humans by observation. Animals. 10 , 1-12
[Research article]

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Animals can acquire new behavior through both individual and social learning. Several studies have investigated horses’ ability to utilize inter-species (human demonstrator) social learning with conflicting results. In this study, we repeat a previous study, which found that horses had the ability to learn from observing humans performing an instrumental task, but we include a control for stimulus enhancement. One human demonstrator and thirty horses were included, and the horses were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: (A) full human demonstration, (B) partial human demonstration, and (C) no human demonstration. The task was for the horses to touch an object situated 1 m away from a feed box, to open this feed box, and thereby obtain a food reward. The success of each horse, the behavior directed towards the apparatus and the human, and behaviors indicative of frustration were observed. The results showed that horses observing a full and partial human demonstration were not more successful in solving the instrumental task than horses not observing any demonstration. Horses that did not solve the task expressed more box- and human-oriented behavior compared to successful horses, which may be an indication of motivation to solve the task and/or frustration from being unable to solve the task.

Authors/Creators:Rørvang, Maria Vilain and Bach Nielsen, Tina and Christensen, Janne Winther
Title:Horses failed to learn from humans by observation
Series Name/Journal:Animals
Year of publishing :2020
Page range:1-12
Number of Pages:12
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Behavioural Sciences Biology
Keywords:horse, cognition, social learning, welfare, training, social transmission, inter-species
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Type of IDID
ID Code:16812
Faculty:LTV - Fakulteten för landskapsarkitektur, trädgårds- och växtproduktionsvetenskap
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:04 May 2020 11:52
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 19:46

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