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You are here: Home / Journal Articles / The Processing of Human Emotional Faces by Pet and Lab Dogs: Evidence for Lateralization and Experience Effects / About

The Processing of Human Emotional Faces by Pet and Lab Dogs: Evidence for Lateralization and Experience Effects

By Anjuli L.A. Barber, Dania Randi, Corsin A. Müller, Ludwig Huber

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

From all non-human animals dogs are very likely the best decoders of human behavior. In addition to a high sensitivity to human attentive status and to ostensive cues, they are able to distinguish between individual human faces and even between human facial expressions. However, so far little is known about how they process human faces and to what extent this is influenced by experience. Here we present an eye-tracking study with dogs emanating from two different living environments and varying experience with humans: pet and lab dogs. The dogs were shown pictures of familiar and unfamiliar human faces expressing four different emotions. The results, extracted from several different eye-tracking measurements, revealed pronounced differences in the face processing of pet and lab dogs, thus indicating an influence of the amount of exposure to humans. In addition, there was some evidence for the influences of both, the familiarity and the emotional expression of the face, and strong evidence for a left gaze bias. These findings, together with recent evidence for the dog's ability to discriminate human facial expressions, indicate that dogs are sensitive to some emotions expressed in human faces.

Submitter

Marcy Wilhelm-South

Purdue University

Publication Title PLoS One
Volume 11
Issue 4
Pages 22
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0152393
URL https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0152393
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Anjuli L.A. Barber; Dania Randi; Corsin A. Müller; Ludwig Huber (2018), "The Processing of Human Emotional Faces by Pet and Lab Dogs: Evidence for Lateralization and Experience Effects," https://habricentral.org/resources/64047.

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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Attention
  3. Dogs
  4. Emotions
  5. Eyes
  6. Face
  7. Mammals
  8. open access
  9. Pets and companion animals
  10. recognition
Badges
  1. open access