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You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Could the Visual Differential Attention Be a Referential Gesture? A Study on Horses (Equus caballus) on the Impossible Task Paradigm / About

Could the Visual Differential Attention Be a Referential Gesture? A Study on Horses (Equus caballus) on the Impossible Task Paradigm

By Alessandra Alterisio, Paola Baragli, Massimo Aria, Biagio D'Aniello, Anna Scandurra

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Abstract

We tested horses on the impossible task paradigm, a drawback affecting the decision-making process in animals. We used the direction of the horse’s ear cup as an indicator of its visual attention in terms of visual selective attention when both ears were directed at the same target and the visual differential attention when the ears were directed differentially to the persons and to the experimental tools. We aimed to evaluate whether the latter behavior could be considered a possible support to solve the problem. The visual differential attention was the most frequent behavior when the resource was unreachable, which supports the view that this gesture could be linked to a request for help from humans to find the solution to the task. Our procedure proved to be a useful way to understand how horses try to attract human attention when they are in a restricted environment, a typical situation for horses living in stables.

Submitter

Katie Osborn

Publication Title Animals
Volume 8
Issue 7
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
DOI https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8070120
URL https://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/8/7/120
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Alessandra Alterisio; Paola Baragli; Massimo Aria; Biagio D'Aniello; Anna Scandurra (2018), "Could the Visual Differential Attention Be a Referential Gesture? A Study on Horses (Equus caballus) on the Impossible Task Paradigm," http://habricentral.org/resources/62973.

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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Attention
  3. Help
  4. Horses
  5. Human-animal relationships
  6. Mammals
  7. open access
  8. peer-reviewed
Badges
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed