Science & Equine

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Written by Anouk van Breukelen
Posted in Social behavior

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Horses discriminate between emotion in human vocalization

In social species, vocalisation is important in promoting effective communication. Species with frequent human contact may benefit from interpreting human vocalisations and adjusting their behaviour accordingly.

The results show that horse show a freeze posture significantly longer after hearing negative voices. In addition, with negative voices horses held their ears forward longer and moved their ears less, all vigilant behaviours.

Expert opinion by Anouk van Breukelen

The results give rise to more questions about the universality of vocal emotions in different species and are interesting for future research about the parameters that cause this discrimination.

> From: Smith et al., Nature Scientific Reports 8 (2018) 13052. All rights reserved to Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International. Click here for the online summary.

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