Influence of reward and location on dogs’ behaviour toward an interactive artificial agent

Capitain, Svenja and Miklósi, Ádám and Abdai, Judit (2023) Influence of reward and location on dogs’ behaviour toward an interactive artificial agent. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 13 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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Animal–robot interaction studies provide outstanding opportunities to understand the principles of social interactions. Here we investigated whether dogs’ behaviour toward a cooperative artificial agent (Unidentified Moving Object (UMO)) is influenced by receiving a reward directly from the agent, and by variability in the UMO’s location. In a problem-solving task, the UMO either helped dogs to obtain food (Direct Reward Group, DRG) or to fetch an object followed by an indirect reward from the owner/experimenter (Indirect Reward Group, IRG). During the Familiarization, the UMO either started from the same location or changed its starting location in all trials. In the Test phase, dogs faced the same task, but additionally a second, unfamiliar UMO was present. We found that both reward groups gazed at the UMO with decreasing latency during the Familiarization, with the IRG showing more gaze alternations between UMO and hiding location. Dogs showed no preference for either UMO in the Test phase but looked at the familiar UMO sooner if it had changed its location during the Familiarization. Thus, direct reward is not necessary to elicit elements of socially competent behavior in dogs, but variability in its motion may be important to improve the UMO’s animacy and promote flexible learning.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QL Zoology / állattan > QL750-QL782.5 Animal behavior / etológia, állat-viselkedéstan
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2023 13:31
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2023 13:31

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