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Hemispheric specialization in dogs for processing different acoustic stimuli.

Siniscalchi M, Quaranta A, Rogers LJ - PLoS ONE (2008)

Bottom Line: The left hemisphere uses learned patterns and responds to familiar stimuli.Nevertheless, conspecific vocalizations are not always processed by the left hemisphere, since the right hemisphere is used for processing vocalizations when they elicit intense emotion, including fear.These findings suggest that the specialisation of the left hemisphere for intraspecific communication is more ancient that previously thought, and so is specialisation of the right hemisphere for intense emotions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Animal Production, University of Bari, Bari, Italy. m.siniscalchi@veterinaria.uniba.it

ABSTRACT
Considerable experimental evidence shows that functional cerebral asymmetries are widespread in animals. Activity of the right cerebral hemisphere has been associated with responses to novel stimuli and the expression of intense emotions, such as aggression, escape behaviour and fear. The left hemisphere uses learned patterns and responds to familiar stimuli. Although such lateralization has been studied mainly for visual responses, there is evidence in primates that auditory perception is lateralized and that vocal communication depends on differential processing by the hemispheres. The aim of the present work was to investigate whether dogs use different hemispheres to process different acoustic stimuli by presenting them with playbacks of a thunderstorm and their species-typical vocalizations. The results revealed that dogs usually process their species-typical vocalizations using the left hemisphere and the thunderstorm sounds using the right hemisphere. Nevertheless, conspecific vocalizations are not always processed by the left hemisphere, since the right hemisphere is used for processing vocalizations when they elicit intense emotion, including fear. These findings suggest that the specialisation of the left hemisphere for intraspecific communication is more ancient that previously thought, and so is specialisation of the right hemisphere for intense emotions.

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% Response index (%Res).%Res for the head-orienting response of each dog to playbacks calculated for all of the 10 presentations of the different sounds.
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pone-0003349-g002: % Response index (%Res).%Res for the head-orienting response of each dog to playbacks calculated for all of the 10 presentations of the different sounds.

Mentions: First, a % Response index (%Res) for the head-orienting response of each dog to playbacks was calculated for all of the 10 presentations of the different sounds, using the formula %Res = (L+R/L+R+N), where L and R signify respectively the number of Left and Right head-orienting responses, and N signifies “No response” (i.e. if the dog did not turn its head within 5 seconds after presentation of the sound). The %Res revealed that no subjects habituated to the acoustic stimuli during the first seven presentations but a pronounced decrease in the %Res was observed in the last three presentations (see Figure 2). All the data were subsequently analysed using only the first seven presentations. The data for percentage of response were analysed to see whether the stimuli differed in terms of eliciting a head orienting response. A GLM analysis for repeated measures of the data for %Res revealed that there was no difference between sounds on this measure (“disturbance”, “isolation”, “play” and “thunderstorm”) (F(3, 39) = 0.127, p = 0.944).


Hemispheric specialization in dogs for processing different acoustic stimuli.

Siniscalchi M, Quaranta A, Rogers LJ - PLoS ONE (2008)

% Response index (%Res).%Res for the head-orienting response of each dog to playbacks calculated for all of the 10 presentations of the different sounds.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2553184&req=5

pone-0003349-g002: % Response index (%Res).%Res for the head-orienting response of each dog to playbacks calculated for all of the 10 presentations of the different sounds.
Mentions: First, a % Response index (%Res) for the head-orienting response of each dog to playbacks was calculated for all of the 10 presentations of the different sounds, using the formula %Res = (L+R/L+R+N), where L and R signify respectively the number of Left and Right head-orienting responses, and N signifies “No response” (i.e. if the dog did not turn its head within 5 seconds after presentation of the sound). The %Res revealed that no subjects habituated to the acoustic stimuli during the first seven presentations but a pronounced decrease in the %Res was observed in the last three presentations (see Figure 2). All the data were subsequently analysed using only the first seven presentations. The data for percentage of response were analysed to see whether the stimuli differed in terms of eliciting a head orienting response. A GLM analysis for repeated measures of the data for %Res revealed that there was no difference between sounds on this measure (“disturbance”, “isolation”, “play” and “thunderstorm”) (F(3, 39) = 0.127, p = 0.944).

Bottom Line: The left hemisphere uses learned patterns and responds to familiar stimuli.Nevertheless, conspecific vocalizations are not always processed by the left hemisphere, since the right hemisphere is used for processing vocalizations when they elicit intense emotion, including fear.These findings suggest that the specialisation of the left hemisphere for intraspecific communication is more ancient that previously thought, and so is specialisation of the right hemisphere for intense emotions.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Animal Production, University of Bari, Bari, Italy. m.siniscalchi@veterinaria.uniba.it

ABSTRACT
Considerable experimental evidence shows that functional cerebral asymmetries are widespread in animals. Activity of the right cerebral hemisphere has been associated with responses to novel stimuli and the expression of intense emotions, such as aggression, escape behaviour and fear. The left hemisphere uses learned patterns and responds to familiar stimuli. Although such lateralization has been studied mainly for visual responses, there is evidence in primates that auditory perception is lateralized and that vocal communication depends on differential processing by the hemispheres. The aim of the present work was to investigate whether dogs use different hemispheres to process different acoustic stimuli by presenting them with playbacks of a thunderstorm and their species-typical vocalizations. The results revealed that dogs usually process their species-typical vocalizations using the left hemisphere and the thunderstorm sounds using the right hemisphere. Nevertheless, conspecific vocalizations are not always processed by the left hemisphere, since the right hemisphere is used for processing vocalizations when they elicit intense emotion, including fear. These findings suggest that the specialisation of the left hemisphere for intraspecific communication is more ancient that previously thought, and so is specialisation of the right hemisphere for intense emotions.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus