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What are you or who are you? The emergence of social interaction between dog and an unidentified moving object (UMO).

Gergely A, Petró E, Topál J, Miklósi Á - PLoS ONE (2013)

Bottom Line: We found that dogs also looked longer and showed more gaze alternations between the food and the Social UMO compared to the Mechanical UMO.These results suggest that dogs form expectations about an unfamiliar moving object within a short period of time and they recognise some social aspects of UMOs' behaviour.This is the first evidence that interactive behaviour of a robot is important for evoking dogs' social responsiveness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ethology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.

ABSTRACT
Robots offer new possibilities for investigating animal social behaviour. This method enhances controllability and reproducibility of experimental techniques, and it allows also the experimental separation of the effects of bodily appearance (embodiment) and behaviour. In the present study we examined dogs' interactive behaviour in a problem solving task (in which the dog has no access to the food) with three different social partners, two of which were robots and the third a human behaving in a robot-like manner. The Mechanical UMO (Unidentified Moving Object) and the Mechanical Human differed only in their embodiment, but showed similar behaviour toward the dog. In contrast, the Social UMO was interactive, showed contingent responsiveness and goal-directed behaviour and moved along varied routes. The dogs showed shorter looking and touching duration, but increased gaze alternation toward the Mechanical Human than to the Mechanical UMO. This suggests that dogs' interactive behaviour may have been affected by previous experience with typical humans. We found that dogs also looked longer and showed more gaze alternations between the food and the Social UMO compared to the Mechanical UMO. These results suggest that dogs form expectations about an unfamiliar moving object within a short period of time and they recognise some social aspects of UMOs' behaviour. This is the first evidence that interactive behaviour of a robot is important for evoking dogs' social responsiveness.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Comparison of different behavioural measures between the Mechanical UMO and Mechanical Human condition during a 30 sec period in each trial when dogs were allowed to move freely.a; mean duration of looking at the partner (UMO or Human) b; mean frequency of gaze alternations between the partner (UMO or Human) and the place of food c; ratio of dogs who touched the partner with its muzzle (UMO or Human) d; mean latency of touching the partner with muzzle (UMO or Human).
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pone-0072727-g003: Comparison of different behavioural measures between the Mechanical UMO and Mechanical Human condition during a 30 sec period in each trial when dogs were allowed to move freely.a; mean duration of looking at the partner (UMO or Human) b; mean frequency of gaze alternations between the partner (UMO or Human) and the place of food c; ratio of dogs who touched the partner with its muzzle (UMO or Human) d; mean latency of touching the partner with muzzle (UMO or Human).

Mentions: First we compared the two mechanical conditions (Mechanical UMO and Mechanical Human) to see whether dogs showed comparable behaviour toward the Mechanical UMO and the Mechanical Human. Dogs in both conditions were looking longer at the partner over repeated trials (F5,136 = 7.59, p<0.0001). At the same time dogs looking longer to the Mechanical UMO than the Mechanical Human (F1,12 = 5.37, p = 0.039) (Figure 3/a). Gaze alternations between the partner and the place of food became more frequent with repeated trials in both conditions (F5,55 = 3.35, p = 0.01), and on the whole dogs in the Mechanical Human condition displayed more gaze alternations than dogs in the Mechanical UMO condition (F1,47 = 4.5, p = 0.038) (Figure 3/b). More dogs touched the partner in the Mechanical UMO condition (F1,46 = 10.38, p = 0.002), however this behaviour did not change with the trials (F5,95 = 1.02, p = 0.4) (Figure 3/c). Dogs also touched the partner sooner in the Mechanical UMO condition than dogs in the Mechanical Human condition (F1,22 = 4.37, p = 0.048), but this latency did not change with the trials (F5,17 = 1.98, p = 0.134) (Figure 3/d).


What are you or who are you? The emergence of social interaction between dog and an unidentified moving object (UMO).

Gergely A, Petró E, Topál J, Miklósi Á - PLoS ONE (2013)

Comparison of different behavioural measures between the Mechanical UMO and Mechanical Human condition during a 30 sec period in each trial when dogs were allowed to move freely.a; mean duration of looking at the partner (UMO or Human) b; mean frequency of gaze alternations between the partner (UMO or Human) and the place of food c; ratio of dogs who touched the partner with its muzzle (UMO or Human) d; mean latency of touching the partner with muzzle (UMO or Human).
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3755977&req=5

pone-0072727-g003: Comparison of different behavioural measures between the Mechanical UMO and Mechanical Human condition during a 30 sec period in each trial when dogs were allowed to move freely.a; mean duration of looking at the partner (UMO or Human) b; mean frequency of gaze alternations between the partner (UMO or Human) and the place of food c; ratio of dogs who touched the partner with its muzzle (UMO or Human) d; mean latency of touching the partner with muzzle (UMO or Human).
Mentions: First we compared the two mechanical conditions (Mechanical UMO and Mechanical Human) to see whether dogs showed comparable behaviour toward the Mechanical UMO and the Mechanical Human. Dogs in both conditions were looking longer at the partner over repeated trials (F5,136 = 7.59, p<0.0001). At the same time dogs looking longer to the Mechanical UMO than the Mechanical Human (F1,12 = 5.37, p = 0.039) (Figure 3/a). Gaze alternations between the partner and the place of food became more frequent with repeated trials in both conditions (F5,55 = 3.35, p = 0.01), and on the whole dogs in the Mechanical Human condition displayed more gaze alternations than dogs in the Mechanical UMO condition (F1,47 = 4.5, p = 0.038) (Figure 3/b). More dogs touched the partner in the Mechanical UMO condition (F1,46 = 10.38, p = 0.002), however this behaviour did not change with the trials (F5,95 = 1.02, p = 0.4) (Figure 3/c). Dogs also touched the partner sooner in the Mechanical UMO condition than dogs in the Mechanical Human condition (F1,22 = 4.37, p = 0.048), but this latency did not change with the trials (F5,17 = 1.98, p = 0.134) (Figure 3/d).

Bottom Line: We found that dogs also looked longer and showed more gaze alternations between the food and the Social UMO compared to the Mechanical UMO.These results suggest that dogs form expectations about an unfamiliar moving object within a short period of time and they recognise some social aspects of UMOs' behaviour.This is the first evidence that interactive behaviour of a robot is important for evoking dogs' social responsiveness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Ethology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.

ABSTRACT
Robots offer new possibilities for investigating animal social behaviour. This method enhances controllability and reproducibility of experimental techniques, and it allows also the experimental separation of the effects of bodily appearance (embodiment) and behaviour. In the present study we examined dogs' interactive behaviour in a problem solving task (in which the dog has no access to the food) with three different social partners, two of which were robots and the third a human behaving in a robot-like manner. The Mechanical UMO (Unidentified Moving Object) and the Mechanical Human differed only in their embodiment, but showed similar behaviour toward the dog. In contrast, the Social UMO was interactive, showed contingent responsiveness and goal-directed behaviour and moved along varied routes. The dogs showed shorter looking and touching duration, but increased gaze alternation toward the Mechanical Human than to the Mechanical UMO. This suggests that dogs' interactive behaviour may have been affected by previous experience with typical humans. We found that dogs also looked longer and showed more gaze alternations between the food and the Social UMO compared to the Mechanical UMO. These results suggest that dogs form expectations about an unfamiliar moving object within a short period of time and they recognise some social aspects of UMOs' behaviour. This is the first evidence that interactive behaviour of a robot is important for evoking dogs' social responsiveness.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus