Acute and chronic stress alter behavioral laterality in dogs

  • Dogs are one of the key animal species in investigating the biological mechanisms of behavioral laterality. Cerebral asymmetries are assumed to be influenced by stress, but this subject has not yet been studied in dogs. This study aims to investigate the effect of stress on laterality in dogs by using two different motor laterality tests: the \(Kong^{TM}\) Test and a Food-Reaching Test (FRT). Motor laterality of chronically stressed (n = 28) and emotionally/physically healthy dogs (n = 32) were determined in two different environments, i.e., a home environment and a stressful open field test (OFT) environment. Physiological parameters including salivary cortisol, respiratory rate, and heart rate were measured for each dog, under both conditions. Cortisol results showed that acute stress induction by OFT was successful. A shift towards ambilaterality was detected in dogs after acute stress. Results also showed a significantly lower absolute laterality index in the chronically stressed dogs. Moreover, the direction of the first paw used in FRT was a good predictor of the general paw preference of an animal. Overall, these results provide evidence that both acute and chronic stress exposure can change behavioral asymmetries in dogs.

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Author:Yasemin Salgirli DemirbasGND, Sevim IspartaORCiDGND, Begum SaralGND, Nevra Keskin YılmazGND, Deniz AdıayGND, Hiroshi MatsuiGND, Gülşen Töre‑YargınGND, Saad Adam MusaGND, Durmus AtilganGND, Hakan ÖztürkGND, Bengi Cinar KulGND, C. Etkin ŞafakGND, Sebastian OcklenburgORCiDGND, Onur GüntürkünORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Scientific reports
Publisher:Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2024/01/12
Date of first Publication:2023/03/11
Publishing Institution:Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsbibliothek
Tag:Open Access Fonds
Issue:Article 4092
First Page:4092-1
Last Page:4092-13
Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
Institutes/Facilities:Institut für Kognitive Neurowissenschaft, Abteilung Biopsychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:Philosophie und Psychologie / Psychologie
open_access (DINI-Set):open_access
faculties:Fakultät für Psychologie
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY 4.0 - Attribution 4.0 International