Reading faces: differential lateral gaze bias in processing canine and human facial expressions in dogs and 4-year-old children

Racca, Anais and Guo, Kun and Meints, Kerstin and Mills, Daniel (2012) Reading faces: differential lateral gaze bias in processing canine and human facial expressions in dogs and 4-year-old children. Plos One, 7 (4). e36076. ISSN 1932-6203

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Reading faces: differential lateral gaze bias in processing canine and human facial expressions in dogs and 4-year-old children
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Official URL: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.137...

Abstract

Sensitivity to the emotions of others provides clear biological advantages. However, in the case of heterospecific relationships, such as that existing between dogs and humans, there are additional challenges since some elements of the expression of emotions are species-specific. Given that faces provide important visual cues for communicating emotional state in both humans and dogs, and that processing of emotions is subject to brain lateralisation, we investigated lateral gaze bias in adult dogs when presented with pictures of expressive human and dog faces. Our analysis revealed clear differences in laterality of eye movements in dogs towards conspecific faces according to the emotional valence of the expressions. Differences were also found towards human faces, but to a lesser extent. For comparative purpose, a similar experiment was also run with 4-year-old children and it was observed that they showed differential processing of facial expressions compared to dogs, suggesting a species-dependent engagement of the right or left hemisphere in processing emotions.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Gaze bias, facial expressions, Dogs, Children
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C830 Experimental Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:5136
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:01 May 2012 19:02
Last Modified:04 Dec 2013 14:48

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