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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

Analysis of the dogs’ behavioural variables during the first and last trials in each condition.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; mean latency of looking at the partner (UMO or Human) d; mean latency of touching the partner with muzzle (UMO or Human) (* p<0.05, ** p<0.005).
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pone-0072727-g005: Analysis of the dogs’ behavioural variables during the first and last trials in each condition.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; mean latency of looking at the partner (UMO or Human) d; mean latency of touching the partner with muzzle (UMO or Human) (* p<0.05, ** p<0.005).

Mentions: The aim of these comparisons was to examine whether dogs showed more intensive gazing and touching behaviours toward the Social UMO than dogs in the mechanical conditions toward the Mechanical UMO or the Mechanical Human. This effect could emerge as the result of differential type of interactions in trials 2th to 6th (see Methods). In the first trial there were no differences among the three conditions in any of the measured behaviour variables, however during the last trial all variables differed significantly across the conditions (see Table 1). Dogs looked longer at the Social UMO than the Mechanical UMO or the Mechanical Human during the last trial (Figure 5/a). Dogs also altered their gaze more frequently between the Social UMO and the place of food during the last trial compared to the Mechanical UMO, but no such difference was present in relation the Mechanical Human (Figure 5/b). They were also faster to look at the partner in the Social UMO condition than in the Mechanical Human condition (Figure 5/c). Latency of touching showed the same pattern. Dogs touched the Social UMO and the Mechanical UMO sooner than the Mechanical Human (Figure 5/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)

Analysis of the dogs’ behavioural variables during the first and last trials in each condition.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; mean latency of looking at the partner (UMO or Human) d; mean latency of touching the partner with muzzle (UMO or Human) (* p<0.05, ** p<0.005).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3755977&req=5

pone-0072727-g005: Analysis of the dogs’ behavioural variables during the first and last trials in each condition.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; mean latency of looking at the partner (UMO or Human) d; mean latency of touching the partner with muzzle (UMO or Human) (* p<0.05, ** p<0.005).
Mentions: The aim of these comparisons was to examine whether dogs showed more intensive gazing and touching behaviours toward the Social UMO than dogs in the mechanical conditions toward the Mechanical UMO or the Mechanical Human. This effect could emerge as the result of differential type of interactions in trials 2th to 6th (see Methods). In the first trial there were no differences among the three conditions in any of the measured behaviour variables, however during the last trial all variables differed significantly across the conditions (see Table 1). Dogs looked longer at the Social UMO than the Mechanical UMO or the Mechanical Human during the last trial (Figure 5/a). Dogs also altered their gaze more frequently between the Social UMO and the place of food during the last trial compared to the Mechanical UMO, but no such difference was present in relation the Mechanical Human (Figure 5/b). They were also faster to look at the partner in the Social UMO condition than in the Mechanical Human condition (Figure 5/c). Latency of touching showed the same pattern. Dogs touched the Social UMO and the Mechanical UMO sooner than the Mechanical Human (Figure 5/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