Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The expression of emotions and learning in cattle
Author: Hagen, K.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2001
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
The behaviour of young cattle was studied in a series of learning experiments and in two observational studies. In a first experiment, it was shown that six yearling heifers could discriminate between familiar herd members as stimuli in a discrimination learning task in a Y-maze. As part of the experimental protocol, the heifers stood in a start area overlooking the two Y-maze arms for about one minute before they were allowed to enter a maze arm. Their behaviour during this time period was studied on the basis of video records. The orientation of their heads predicted the direction of the maze arm that they chose when they made a correct choice. When they made an incorrect choice, both body and head orientation tended to predict the maze arm that would have been correct. In a second experiment, the emotional reactions of heifers during acquisition of an operant task were studied. Six heifers learned to press a panel, while alone in a start area visually isolated from the rest of the herd. Pressing the panel made a gate open, which allowed them to exit the start area and gave access to a race, at the end of which the heifers received a food reward. Six control heifers were yoked to the experimentals, so they received the same treatment, but contingent on their matched partner's - not on their own - behaviour. The heart rate of heifers, and their behaviour when moving down the race were measured. When experimental heifers made marked learning improvements, they were more likely than on other occasions to have higher heart rates just before the gate opened, and to move more vigorously down the race in comparison with their controls.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available