Do domestic dogs recognize emotional incongruence in human faces and voices?
|dc.description||Won first place in the Social and Behavioral Sciences category at the 2012 Denman Undergraduate Research Forum||en_US|
|dc.description.abstract||Dogs have had a close relationship with humans for more than 10,000 years, but the effects of artificial selection on canine cognition are only recently being studied. Studies have confirmed the beliefs of pet owners – dogs recognize human faces and voices – and that dogs are sensitive to human emotions. We therefore hypothesized dogs should be able to recognize incongruence between emotions displayed on human faces and emotions expressed in human voices, shown by a significantly stronger reaction to incongruent face-voice combinations compared to congruent combinations. We compared the reactions of 34 shelter dogs in 40 habituation-dishabituation experiments (six dogs completed two experiments each). At the beginning of each trial, dogs faced a human demonstrator who displayed either a happy or a sad facial expression. Simultaneously, an audio recording of the congruent emotion, laughter or crying, was played. Once habituated to the congruent pairing (measured by a decrease in attentive responses), one of the following occurred: 1) both the facial expression and audio recording were changed to the other congruent pair (e.g., happy-happy becomes sad-sad); 2) either the facial expression or the audio recording was changed to create an incongruent pairing (e.g., happy-happy becomes happy-sad). The dogs’ reactions were measured as changes in gaze, ear and tail position, posture, and vocalizations. Attentive dogs gazed at the demonstrator for a longer period and had a greater increase in gaze time when the presented face-voice combination was incongruent compared to congruent combinations. This suggests that, because dogs had a significant reaction to incongruent combinations, dogs recognize the incongruence and use multiple cues to interpret human emotion. Our results will have implications in training companion and therapy dogs and will contribute to a deeper understanding of canine cognitive abilities.||en_US|
|dc.publisher||The Ohio State University||en_US|
|dc.relation.ispartofseries||The Ohio State University. Department of Animal Sciences Honors Theses; 2012||en_US|
|dc.title||Do domestic dogs recognize emotional incongruence in human faces and voices?||en_US|
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