Using sniffing behavior to differentiate true negative from false negative responses in trained scent-detection dogs

Concha Ramirez, Astrid and Mills, Daniel S. and Feugier, Alexandre and Zulch, Helen and Guest, Claire and Harris, Rob and Pike, Tomas W. (2014) Using sniffing behavior to differentiate true negative from false negative responses in trained scent-detection dogs. Chemical Senses, 39 (9). pp. 749-754. ISSN 0379-864X

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bju045

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Abstract

False negatives are recorded in every chemical detection system, but when animals are used as a scent detector, some false negatives can arise as a result of a failure in the link between detection and the trained alert response, or a failure of the handler to identify the positive alert. A false negative response can be critical in certain scenarios, such as searching for a live person or detecting explosives. In this study, we investigated whether the nature of sniffing behavior in trained detection dogs during a controlled scent-detection task differs in response to true positives, true negatives, false positives, and false negatives. A total of 200 videos of 10 working detection dogs were pseudorandomly selected and analyzed frame by frame to quantify sniffing duration and the number of sniffing episodes recorded in a Go/No-Go single scent-detection task using an eight-choice test apparatus. We found that the sniffing duration of true negatives is significantly shorter than false negatives, true positives, and false positives. Furthermore, dogs only ever performed one sniffing episode towards true negatives, but two sniffing episodes commonly occurred in the other situations. These results demonstrate how the nature of sniffing can be used to more effectively assess odor detection by dogs used as biological detection devices.

Keywords:Detection dogs, False negative, False positive, Sniffing behavior, Target odor, oaopen
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D322 Animal Physiology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:15007
Deposited On:18 Sep 2014 19:06

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