Judgment Bias During Gestation in Domestic Pigs

Bushby, Emily V., Cotter, Sheena C., Wilkinson, Anna , Friel, Mary and Collins, Lisa M. (2022) Judgment Bias During Gestation in Domestic Pigs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 9 . ISSN 2297-1769

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2022.881101

Judgment Bias During Gestation in Domestic Pigs
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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


In humans and rats, changes in affect are known to occur during pregnancy, however it is unknown how gestation may influence mood in other non-human mammals. This study assessed changes in pigs' judgment bias as a measure of affective state throughout gestation. Pigs were trained to complete a spatial judgment bias task with reference to positive and negative locations. We tested gilts before mating, and during early and late gestation, by assessing their responses to ambiguous probe locations. Pigs responded increasingly negatively to ambiguous probes as gestation progressed and there were consistent inter-individual differences in baseline optimism. This suggests that the pigs' affective state may be altered during gestation, although as a non-pregnant control group was not tested, an effect of learning cannot be ruled out. These results suggest that judgment bias is altered during gestation in domestic pigs, consequently raising novel welfare considerations for captive multiparous species.

Keywords:welfare, cognition, judgement bias, gestation, pigs
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C120 Behavioural Biology
C Biological Sciences > C142 Reproductive Biology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
C Biological Sciences > C100 Biology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:49464
Deposited On:24 May 2022 10:54

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