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Interplay of mood and stimulus valence on emotional cortical activation

English title Interplay of mood and stimulus valence on emotional cortical activation
Applicant Gygax Lorenz
Number 132435
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Zentrum für tiergerechte Haltung: Wiederkäuer und Schweine Forschungsanstalt Agroscope
Institution of higher education Research Institutes Agroscope - AGS
Main discipline Ethology
Start/End 01.04.2011 - 31.12.2014
Approved amount 232'840.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Ethology
Psychology
Zoology

Keywords (8)

affective states; mood; emotion; cortical brain activity; haemodynamic changes; functional near-infrared spectroscopy; sheep; human subjects

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Lay summary
Das Empfinden von Gefühlen prägt das Erleben unseres Alltags. In diesem Projekt wird nach Indikatoren gesucht, die es erlauben, solche affektiven Zustände auch bei Tieren zu untersuchen, die nicht sprachfähig sind.Grundstimmung und kurzfristige emotionale Reaktionen sind wichtige Bestandteile der Verhaltenssteuerung bei Menschen und anderen Säugern. Es ist weitgehend unbekannt, wie Grundstimmung und emotionale Reaktionen zusammenspielen. Zudem besteht ein angewandtes Interesse an dieser Fragestellung, weil das Wohlbefinden von Tieren in Menschenobhut am besten anhand ihrer emotionalen Empfindungen beurteilt werden kann. Sowohl die Grundstimmung wie auch die emotionalen Reaktionen können von der Haltungsumwelt beeinflusst werden. Da Emotionen im Gehirn generiert und verarbeitet werden, ist es naheliegend, dass die Hirnaktivität in den entsprechenden Regionen ein guter Indikator für Emotionen ist. Die zum Einsatz kommende funktionelle nah-Infrarot Spektroskopie erlaubt es, nicht-invasiv Veränderungen in Oxy- und Deoxyhämoglobin Konzentrationen im Hirn zu messen, was Rückschlüsse auf neuronale Aktivität erlaubt.In einem kontrollierten Versuchsdesign werden frei bewegliche Schafe mit unterschiedlicher Grundstimmung (negativ, positiv) mit jeweils einem negativen, einem neutralen und einem positiven Stimulus konfrontiert und ihre Hirnaktivität sowie Verhaltens- und physiologische Reaktionen gemessen. Dieser Versuch soll anhand von drei verschiedenen sensorischen Modalitäten (Berührung, Temperatur und soziale Interaktionen) durchgeführt werden, um generelle Aspekte der Hirnreaktionen unabhängig von der spezifischen Situation identifizieren zu können. Zwei der Versuche werden zusätzlich auch mit Menschen in analoger Weise gemacht. IN Ergänzung zu den Hirnmessungen wird beim Menschen die subjektive Empfindung verbal abgefragt, so dass die Bedeutung der Messungen diesbezüglich eingeordnet werden kann.Das Projekt liefert fundamentale Erkenntnisse über situationsunabhängige emotionale Reaktionen und über das Zusammenspiel von Stimmung und emotionalen Reaktionen. Diese Informationen erlauben es, das Wohlbefinden bei Tieren besser beurteilen zu können. Es geht insbesondere um die Frage, ob Tiere in negativer Grundstimmung alles Erlebte als negativ gefärbt empfinden und ob Tiere in positiver Grundstimmung negative Erlebnisse weniger stark empfinden.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Reactions of sheep towards three sets of emotional stimuli: (In)Consistency in respect to stimulus valence and sheep identity
Gygax Lorenz, Vögeli Sabine (2016), Reactions of sheep towards three sets of emotional stimuli: (In)Consistency in respect to stimulus valence and sheep identity, in Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 174(1), 51-57.
Frontal brain activity and behavioral indicators of affective states are weakly affected by thermal stimuli in sheep living in different housing conditions
Vögeli Sabine, Wolf Martin, Wechsler Beat, Gygax Lorenz (2015), Frontal brain activity and behavioral indicators of affective states are weakly affected by thermal stimuli in sheep living in different housing conditions, in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 2, 1-10.
Frontal brain deactivation during a non-verbal cognitive judgement bias test in sheep
Guldimann Kathrin, Vögeli Sabine, Wolf Martin, Wechsler Beat, Gygax Lorenz (2015), Frontal brain deactivation during a non-verbal cognitive judgement bias test in sheep, in Brain & Cognition, 93, 35-41.
Housing conditions influence cortical and behavioural reactions of sheep in response to videos showing social interactions of different valence
Vögeli Sabine, Wolf Martin, Wechsler Beat, Gygax Lorenz (2015), Housing conditions influence cortical and behavioural reactions of sheep in response to videos showing social interactions of different valence, in Behavioural Brain Research, 284(1), 69-76.
The A to Z of statistics for testing cognitive judgement bias
Gygax Lorenz (2014), The A to Z of statistics for testing cognitive judgement bias, in Animal Behaviour, 95, 59-69.
Valence of physical stimuli, not housing conditions, affects behaviour and frontal cortical brain activity in sheep
Voegeli Sabine, Lutz Janika, Wolf Martin, Wechsler Beat, Gygax Lorenz (2014), Valence of physical stimuli, not housing conditions, affects behaviour and frontal cortical brain activity in sheep, in Behavioural Brain Research, 267, 144-155.
Welfare by the ear: comparing relative durations and frequencies of ear postures by using an automated tracking system in sheep
Vögeli Sabine, Wechsler Beat, Gygax Lorenz (2014), Welfare by the ear: comparing relative durations and frequencies of ear postures by using an automated tracking system in sheep, in Animal Welfare, 23(8), 267-274.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
10th topical meeting of the Ethological Society Talk given at a conference Cognitive judgement bias reflected in frontal brain activation in sheep? 11.02.2015 Hamburg, Germany Wechsler Beat; Wolf Martin; Vögeli Sabine; Gygax Lorenz;
Colloquium of the Division of Animal Welfare (Vetsuisse Faculty, Bern) Individual talk The A to Z of statistics for testing cognitive judgement bias 08.10.2014 Bern, Switzerland Gygax Lorenz;
ISAE 2014; 48th Congress of the International Society of Applied Ethology Talk given at a conference How sheep in different mood states react to social stimuli varying in valence 29.07.2014 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain Wolf Martin; Vögeli Sabine; Gygax Lorenz; Wechsler Beat;
European Conference on Behavioural Biology Talk given at a conference Affective states and proximate control of behaviour; A model and data on mood – emotion interactions 17.07.2014 Prag, Czech Republic Gygax Lorenz;
Projektforum Tänikon Talk given at a conference Emotionen beim Schaf – ein Blick ins Gehirn 20.05.2014 Tänikon, Switzerland Gygax Lorenz; Wechsler Beat; Vögeli Sabine;
Verhaltensbiologisches Kolloquium Individual talk Emotional reactions to social stimuli varying in valence in sheep of different mood states 16.04.2014 UZH, Switzerland Vögeli Sabine;
ASAB Winter Conference: The Evolution of Behavioural Mechanisms Poster Mood-emotion interaction effects on beha-vioural & brain reactions of sheep exposed to video images of social interactions 31.12.2013 London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Wechsler Beat; Vögeli Sabine; Gygax Lorenz;
9th Annual Symposium of the PhD-program in Sustainable Agriculture Talk given at a conference Emotional reactions to social stimuli varying in valence in sheep of different mood states 28.11.2013 Zürich, Switzerland Gygax Lorenz; Wechsler Beat; Vögeli Sabine;
ISAE 2013, 47th Congress of the International Society of Applied Ethology Talk given at a conference Neuro-behavioral reactions to physical stimuli varying in valence in sheep of different mood states 02.06.2013 Florianopolis, Brazil Gygax Lorenz; Wechsler Beat; Vögeli Sabine; Wolf Martin;
Forschungskolloquium VU, BLV Individual talk Zusammenspiel von Stimmung und Reizsituation auf die emotionale Hirnaktivität 19.03.2013 Bern, Schweiz, Switzerland Vögeli Sabine;
ARTDAYS2013 Talk given at a conference Measuring the influence of mood on emotional reaction in sheep 07.02.2013 Starnberg, Deutschland, Germany Wolf Martin; Vögeli Sabine; Wechsler Beat; Gygax Lorenz;
Verhaltensbiologisches Kolloquium Individual talk Interplay of mood and stimulus valence on emotional reaction in sheep 30.01.2013 UZH, Switzerland Vögeli Sabine;
Antrittsvorlesung Individual talk Wohlbefinden und affektive Zustände bei Säugern: Ein Blick ins Gehirn 15.12.2012 Zürich, Switzerland Gygax Lorenz;
Verhaltensbiologisches Kolloquium Individual talk Interplay of mood and stimulus valence on emotional cortical reaction 28.11.2012 UZH, Switzerland Vögeli Sabine;
Verhaltensbiologisches Kolloquium Individual talk Interplay of social position, mood and stimulus valence on emotional reactions in sheep 28.11.2012 Zürich, Switzerland Vögeli Sabine; Gygax Lorenz;
Kolloquium “Angewandte Ethologie” Talk given at a conference Wie verändert Stimmung die emotionale Reaktion? 21.09.2012 ETH Zürich, Switzerland Vögeli Sabine; Wechsler Beat; Gygax Lorenz;
7th Annual Symposium of the PhD-program in Sustainable Agriculture Talk given at a conference Interplay of mood and stimulus valence on emotional cortical activation 01.12.2011 Zürich, Switzerland Vögeli Sabine; Gygax Lorenz; Wechsler Beat;
Projektforum Tänikon Talk given at a conference Zusammenspiel von sozialer Position, Stimmung und Reizwertigkeit auf die emotionale Reaktion bei Schafen 15.11.2011 Tänikon, Switzerland Gygax Lorenz;
Verhaltensbiologisches Kolloquium Individual talk Interplay of social position, mood and stimulus valence on emotional reactions in sheep 26.10.2011 Zürich, Switzerland Gygax Lorenz; Vögeli Sabine;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Im Kreise ihrere Assistentinnen - Schafe, klüger und feinfühliger als ihr Ruf Schweizer Familie German-speaking Switzerland 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Sabine Vögeli misst Emotionen von Schafen Neue Zürcher Zeitung German-speaking Switzerland 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Verarschung von Schaf und Mensch Berliner Zeitung International 2013
Media relations: radio, television Was Schweine glücklich und Rinder zufrieden macht Bayrischer Rundfunk International 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Zufriedene Schafe 20Minuten German-speaking Switzerland 2013
Media relations: print media, online media Auf der Suche nach dem Glück Thurgauer Zeitung German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Kluger Kopf, die Intelligenz von Pferden wurde jahrelang unterschätz Berliner Tagesspiegel International 2012
Talks/events/exhibitions Wohlbefinden und affektive Zustände bei Tieren: Ein Blick ins Gehirn German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Media relations: print media, online media Wie zeigen Schweine Freude und Schafe Zufriedenheit? Tierwelt German-speaking Switzerland 2011

Abstract

Long-term affective states, i.e. mood, and short-term affective reactions, i.e. emotions, are important mechanisms of behavioural control in humans and other mammals. In addition to basic scientific questions that also appeal to the general public on how mood and stimulus valence control emotions, affective states are also of both scientific and public interest with regard to the welfare of intensively kept farm and laboratory animals. It is largely unclear how mood interacts with stimulus valence in producing emotional reactions. We thus plan to extend previous approaches on the influence of clinical mood aberrations such as depression on positive emotional experiences by focusing on non-clinical variation of mood, both negative and positive, and by including the complete range of valence of stimuli (negative to positive).Because affective states are subjective, indicator variables are used to assess such states. In humans, the recent availability of imaging techniques has boosted the research on in-vivo brain reactions in response to stimuli of varying valence but similar studies on freely-moving subjects and on animals are lacking. In our study, we want to apply non-invasive functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to measure cortical haemodynamic reactions (similar to fMRI and PET measurements) in freely-moving sheep and human subjects as model species. The choice of species is based on the fact, that we have successfully applied this method in a preliminary experiment on sheep and that we can relate fNIRS measurement to subjectively perceived emotions in humans. In both species, the fNIRS measurement will be complemented by measuring behavioural and physiological indicator variables.Our previous experiment has shown that sheep in a negative mood react more strongly to the presumably positive stimulus of being groomed compared to sheep in a positive mood. To show the generality of this response, we plan to extend the range of stimuli and the range of types of valence to fully appreciate how mood interacts with stimulus valence in producing cortical brain reactions. After inducing different moods in two groups of sheep by varying their housing conditions, we want to investigate cortical haemodynamic reactions in response to stimuli likely to induce affective reactions. In a series of experiments, we will vary the valence of touch (negative: piercing, neutral: pressure, positive: brushing), temperature (negative: hot, neutral: body temperature, positive: cool) and social stimuli (negative: agonistic behaviour, neutral: non-social behaviour, positive: affiliative behaviour). The two experiments using temperature and social stimuli will be replicated with human subjects evaluating their naturally occurring variance in mood.Based on our results, we will be able to characterise typical emotional cortical reactions in two mammal species (sheep and human subjects) to stimuli differing in valence and to different stimuli of the same valence. Moreover, we will be able to assess how mood interacts with stimulus valence in producing cortical activity. The latter will provide new evidence on how mood controls behaviour and has direct consequences for the applied question of animal welfare. Our results will show whether the negative impact of short-term manipulations can be outweighed by a housing system that induces a positive mood and whether a generally negative mood taints positive experiences in the everyday life of sheep.
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