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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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Related in: MedlinePlus

Latency to resume feeding and Reactivity Index (RI).A, The mean (and 95% confidence interval) of latency to resume feeding from the bowl for each dog for each stimulus over the first 7 presentations (5 minutes was considered the maximum time to resume feeding); * = P<0.05. B, Data for the mean (and 95% confidence interval) score of the Reactivity Index determined from the Behavioural score for each dog for each stimulus over the first 7 presentations; (a,b) =  P<0.05; (a,c), (b,c) =  P<0.01.
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pone-0003349-g004: Latency to resume feeding and Reactivity Index (RI).A, The mean (and 95% confidence interval) of latency to resume feeding from the bowl for each dog for each stimulus over the first 7 presentations (5 minutes was considered the maximum time to resume feeding); * = P<0.05. B, Data for the mean (and 95% confidence interval) score of the Reactivity Index determined from the Behavioural score for each dog for each stimulus over the first 7 presentations; (a,b) =  P<0.05; (a,c), (b,c) =  P<0.01.

Mentions: A significant main effect of acoustic stimuli was also identified in mean latency to resume feeding (F(3,39) = 2.883, p = 0.048): post-hoc analysis (Fisher's Protected LSD) revealed that the latency was longer for “thunderstorm” than for any other sound (P<0.05 all comparisons between thunderstorm and the other stimuli) (see Fig. 4A). In addition the dogs were less likely to resume feeding from the bowl within the testing session if they turned left than if they turned right and this was the case irrespective of the sound presented: feeding was not resumed within 5 minutes in 44 occasions and 42 of these were left turns and only 2 were right turns. Even when feeding was resumed within the testing session, left turns were followed by significantly longer latencies (10.38±2.19 s) than right turns (4.09±0.51), irrespective of the stimulus (t(13) = 3.204, p = 0.007).


Hemispheric specialization in dogs for processing different acoustic stimuli.

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

Latency to resume feeding and Reactivity Index (RI).A, The mean (and 95% confidence interval) of latency to resume feeding from the bowl for each dog for each stimulus over the first 7 presentations (5 minutes was considered the maximum time to resume feeding); * = P<0.05. B, Data for the mean (and 95% confidence interval) score of the Reactivity Index determined from the Behavioural score for each dog for each stimulus over the first 7 presentations; (a,b) =  P<0.05; (a,c), (b,c) =  P<0.01.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0003349-g004: Latency to resume feeding and Reactivity Index (RI).A, The mean (and 95% confidence interval) of latency to resume feeding from the bowl for each dog for each stimulus over the first 7 presentations (5 minutes was considered the maximum time to resume feeding); * = P<0.05. B, Data for the mean (and 95% confidence interval) score of the Reactivity Index determined from the Behavioural score for each dog for each stimulus over the first 7 presentations; (a,b) =  P<0.05; (a,c), (b,c) =  P<0.01.
Mentions: A significant main effect of acoustic stimuli was also identified in mean latency to resume feeding (F(3,39) = 2.883, p = 0.048): post-hoc analysis (Fisher's Protected LSD) revealed that the latency was longer for “thunderstorm” than for any other sound (P<0.05 all comparisons between thunderstorm and the other stimuli) (see Fig. 4A). In addition the dogs were less likely to resume feeding from the bowl within the testing session if they turned left than if they turned right and this was the case irrespective of the sound presented: feeding was not resumed within 5 minutes in 44 occasions and 42 of these were left turns and only 2 were right turns. Even when feeding was resumed within the testing session, left turns were followed by significantly longer latencies (10.38±2.19 s) than right turns (4.09±0.51), irrespective of the stimulus (t(13) = 3.204, p = 0.007).

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