Predictors of gaze-directed attention in dogs

Bognár, Zsófia and Iotchev, Ivaylo B and Kubinyi, Enikő (2017) Predictors of gaze-directed attention in dogs. In: 11th International Veterinary Behaviour Meeting, 14-16th September 2017, Samorin, Slovakia.


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Introduction A growing body of evidence suggests that eye-contact and gaze-following are important part of the dog's social repertoire, but little is known about the factors facilitating attention towards the eyes and face. Material and methods We used a semiautomated image presentation of humans and dog heads, either facing the observer (portrait) or facing away (profile). These stimuli were presented to 38 pet dogs on a screen (1) in a spontaneous looking condition without food and (2) in the presence of a food reward in front of the screen. In the latter condition we assumed that dogs might be more hesitant to approach the food if a dog portrait is facing them depending on breeds. Results Dogs looked longer at portraits than at profiles, and looked longer at images of other dogs than of humans. Female dogs and dogs of brachycephalic head-shape looked longer at the images in both conditions, and approached the food reward slower. Looking time was longest for dogs belonging to non-cooperative breeds in the without food condition and dogs belonging to cooperative breeds in the with food condition. Finally, old dogs looked longer and approached food slower. Conclusion Our results suggest that in the dog gaze-directed attention is driven by mechanisms similar to those found in humans and by factors previously found to aid the dog's understanding of human gestures. We also encourage further exploration of the relationship of this social communicative behaviour with gender, development, and aging.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Additional Information: Bolyai János Kutatási Ösztöndíj
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QL Zoology / állattan > QL750-QL782.5 Animal behavior / etológia, állat-viselkedéstan
Depositing User: Enikő Kubinyi
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2018 04:25
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2023 07:26

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