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Impulsive for life? The nature of long-term impulsivity in domestic dogs

Riemer, Stefanie and Mills, Daniel and Wright, Hannah (2014) Impulsive for life? The nature of long-term impulsivity in domestic dogs. Animal Cognition, 17 (3). pp. 815-819. ISSN 1435-9448

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Individual differences in impulsivity occur at a cognitive and/or behavioural level and are associated with differing life outcomes. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence to support the long-term stability of these characteristics in non-human animals. This study reports on the stability of convergent measures of impulsivity in domestic dogs assessed more than 6 years apart. Measures were (1) owner assessment by means of a questionnaire, the validated 'Dog Impulsivity Assessment Scale' (DIAS) and (2) dogs' performance in a delayed reward choice test. Dogs had 15-min free access to two food dispensers, one dispensing a piece of food immediately, the other dispensing three pieces after a delay, which increased by 1 s every other time the dogs sampled it. Maximum delay reached in this task reflects decision-making, or cognitive impulsivity, whereas the rate of extra presses on the delayed reward device during the delay can be considered as a measure of motor or behavioural impulsivity. DIAS scores were strongly and significantly correlated across years. The maximum delay reached in the behaviour test was also highly stable, whereas paw-pressing rate was uncorrelated between the years. These results demonstrate that cognitive but not motor impulsivity is highly consistent over time in dogs

Keywords:Dogs, Impulsivity, NotOAChecked
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:14757
Deposited On:26 Aug 2014 04:12

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