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  • 1.
    Davies, Anna C.
    et al.
    School of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, UK.
    Nicol, Christine J.
    School of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, UK.
    Persson, Mia
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan.
    Radford, Andrew N.
    School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.
    Behavioural and Physiological Effects of Finely Balanced Decision-Making in Chickens2014Ingår i: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, nr 10, s. e108809-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In humans, more difficult decisions result in behavioural and physiological changes suggestive of increased arousal, butlittle is known about the effect of decision difficulty in other species. A difficult decision can have a number ofcharacteristics; we aimed to monitor how finely balanced decisions, compared to unbalanced ones, affected the behaviourand physiology of chickens. An unbalanced decision was one in which the two options were of unequal net value (1 (Q1) vs.6 (Q6) pieces of sweetcorn with no cost associated with either option); a finely balanced decision was one in which theoptions were of equal net value (i.e. hens were "indifferent" to both options). To identify hens’ indifference, a titrationprocedure was used in which a cost (electromagnetic weight on an access door) was applied to the Q6 option, to find theindividual point at which hens chose this option approximately equally to Q1 via a non-weighted door. We then comparedbehavioural and physiological indicators of arousal (head movements, latency to choose, heart-rate variability and surfacebody temperature) when chickens made decisions that were unbalanced or finely balanced. Significant physiological (heartratevariability) and behavioural (latency to pen) differences were found between the finely balanced and balancedconditions, but these were likely to be artefacts of the greater time and effort required to push through the weighted doors.No other behavioural and physiological measures were significantly different between the decision categories. We suggestthat more information is needed on when best to monitor likely changes in arousal during decision-making and that futurestudies should consider decisions defined as difficult in other ways.

  • 2.
    Elfwing, Magnus
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan.
    Nätt, Daniel
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för klinisk och experimentell medicin, Avdelningen för cellbiologi. Linköpings universitet, Hälsouniversitetet.
    Goerlich-Jansson, Vivian C.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan. Department of Animals in Science and Society, University of Utrecht, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
    Persson, Mia
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan.
    Hjelm, Jonas
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan.
    Early stress causes sex-specific, life-long changes in behaviour, levels of gonadal hormones, and gene expression in chickens2015Ingår i: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 10, nr 5, artikel-id e0125808Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Early stress can have long-lasting phenotypic effects. Previous research shows that male and female chickens differ in many behavioural aspects, and respond differently to chronic stress. The present experiment aimed to broadly characterize long-term sex differences in responses to brief events of stress experienced during the first weeks of life. Chicks from a commercial egg-laying hybrid were exposed to stress by inducing periods of social isolation during their first three weeks of life, followed by a broad behavioural, physiological and genomic characterization throughout life. Early stressed males, but not females, where more anxious in an open field-test, stayed shorter in tonic immobility and tended to have delayed sexual maturity, as shown by a tendency for lower levels of testosterone compared to controls. While early stressed females did not differ from non-stressed in fear and sexual maturation, they were more socially dominant than controls. The differential gene expression profile in hypothalamus was significantly correlated from 28 to 213 days of age in males, but not in females. In conclusion, early stress had a more pronounced long-term effect on male than on female chickens, as evidenced by behavioral, endocrine and genomic responses. This may either be attributed to inherent sex differences due to evolutionary causes, or possibly to different stress related selection pressures on the two sexes during commercial chicken breeding.

  • 3.
    Jensen, Per
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Persson, Mia E
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Johnsson, Martin
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Sundman, Ann-Sofie
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Roth, Lina S. V.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    The Genetics of How Dogs Became Our Social Allies2016Ingår i: Current directions in psychological science (Print), ISSN 0963-7214, E-ISSN 1467-8721, Vol. 25, nr 5, s. 334-338Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Dogs were domesticated from wolves about 15,000 years ago, and an important selection pressure (intentional orunintentional) has been their ability to communicate and cooperate with people. They show extensive human-directedsociability, which varies within as well as between breeds and is not shared by ancestral wolves. Hence, dogs arepotentially ideal models for studying the genetics of social behavior. Here, we review some recent research carried outby us and others on this subject. We present results showing that recent selection of different breed types can be usedas a model system for investigating the genetic architecture of personalities. Furthermore, we review data showingthat human-directed social behavior is significantly related to a small number of genes that have known connectionsto human social disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. We suggest that dogs are excellent study subjects foranalyzing the evolution and genetics of social behavior and can serve as probes for human health and welfare.

  • 4.
    Persson, Mia
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan.
    Roth, Lina
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan.
    Johnsson, Martin
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska högskolan.
    Human-directed social behaviour in dogs shows significant heritability2015Ingår i: Genes, Brain and Behavior, ISSN 1601-1848, E-ISSN 1601-183X, Vol. 14, nr 4, s. 337-344Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Through domestication and co-evolution with humans, dogs have developed abilities to attract human attention, e.g. in a manner of seeking assistance when faced with a problem solving task. The aims of this study were to investigate within breed variation in human-directed contact seeking in dogs and to estimate its genetic basis. To do this, 498 research beagles, bred and kept under standardized conditions, were tested in an unsolvable problem task. Contact seeking behaviours recorded included both eye contact and physical interactions. Behavioural data was summarized through a principal component analysis, resulting in four components: test interactions, social interactions, eye contact and physical contact. Females scored significantly higher on social interactions and physical contact and age had an effect on eye contact scores. Narrow sense heritabilities (h2) of the two largest components were estimated at 0.32 and 0.23 but were not significant for the last two components. These results show that within the studied dog population, behavioural variation in human-directed social behaviours was sex dependent and that the utilization of eye contact seeking increased with age and experience. Hence, heritability estimates indicate a significant genetic contribution to the variation found in human-directed social interactions, suggesting that social skills in dogs have a genetic basis, but can also be shaped and enhanced through individual experiences. This research gives the opportunity to further investigate the genetics behind dogs’ social skills, which could also play a significant part into research on human social disorders such as autism.

  • 5.
    Persson, Mia
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Sundman, Ann-Sofie
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Hallden, Lise-Lotte
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Trottier, Agaia J.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Sociality genes are associated with human-directed social behaviour in golden and Labrador retriever dogs2018Ingår i: PeerJ, ISSN 2167-8359, E-ISSN 2167-8359, Vol. 6, artikel-id e5889Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Dogs have human-directed social skills that allow them to communicate and cooperate with humans. We have previously identified two loci on chromosome 26 associated with human contact-seeking behaviors during an unsolvable problem task in laboratory beagles (Persson et A, 2016). The aim of the present study was to verify the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in additional dog breeds. We also studied how the allele frequencies have changed during domestication and recent selection. Methods: Dogs of two breeds, 61 golden retrievers and 100 Labrador retrievers, were phenotyped and genotyped, and 19 wolves were genotyped. The Labrador retrievers were divided into common and field type by pedigree data to make it possible to study the effects of recent selection. All dogs were tested in an unsolvable problem task where human-directed social behaviors were scored. DNA from dogs (buccal swabs) and wolves (blood or brain tissue) was analyzed for genotype on two of the previously identified SNP markers, BICF2G630798942 (SNP1) and BICF2S23712114 (SNP2), by pyrosequencing. Results: There was genetic variation for SNP1 in both dog breeds whereas the wolves were fixed for this polymorphism, and for SNP2 there was variation in both dogs and wolves. For both SNPs, Labrador retriever types differed significantly in allele frequencies. We found associations between SNPs and human-directed social behavior in both dog breeds. In golden retrievers, SNP I was associated with physical contact variables, for example, with the duration of physical contact with the owner (F-2,F-56 = 4.389, p = 0.017). SNP2 was associated with several behavioral variables in both breeds, among others owner gazing frequency in both golden retrievers (F-2,F-55 = 6.330, p = 0.003) and Labradors (F-1,F-93 = 5.209, p = 0.025). Discussion: Our results verify the association between the previously identified SNPs and human-directed social behavior scored in an unsolvable problem task. Differences in allele frequencies suggest that these loci have been affected by selection. The results indicate that these genomic regions are involved in human-directed social behavior in not only beagles but in other dog breeds as well. We hypothesize that they may have been important during dog domestication.

  • 6.
    Persson, Mia
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Trottier, Agaia J.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Bélteky, Johan
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Roth, Lina
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Intranasal oxytocin and a polymorphism in the oxytocin receptor gene are associated with human-directed social behavior in golden retriever dogs2017Ingår i: Hormones and Behavior, ISSN 0018-506X, E-ISSN 1095-6867, Vol. 95, s. 85-93Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The oxytocin system may play an important role in dog domestication from the wolf. Dogs have evolved unique human analogue social skills enabling them to communicate and cooperate efficiently with people. Genomic differences in the region surrounding the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene have previously been associated with variation in doge communicative skills. Here we have utilized the unsolvable problem paradigm to investigate the effects of oxytocin and OXTR polymorphisms on human-directed contact seeking behavior in 60 golden retriever dogs. Human-oriented behavior was quantified employing a previously defined unsolvable problem paradigm. Behaviors were tested twice in a repeated, counterbalanced design, where dogs received a nasal dose of either oxytocin or saline 45 min before each test occasion. Buccal DNA was analysed for genotype on three previously identified SNP-markers associated with OXTR. The same polymorphisms were also geno-typed in 21 wolf blood samples to explore potential genomic differences between the species. Results showed that oxytocin treatment decreased physical contact seeking with the experimenter and one of the three polymorphisms was associated with degree of physical contact seeking with the owner. Dogs with the AA-genotype at this locus increased owner physical contact seeking in response to oxytocin while the opposite effect was found in GG-genotype individuals. Hence, intranasal oxytocin treatment, an OXTR polymorphism and their interaction are associated with doge human-directed social skills, which can explain previously described breed differences in oxytocin response. Genotypic variation at the studied locus was also found in wolves indicating that it was present even at the start of dog domestication.

  • 7.
    Persson, Mia
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Wright, Dominic
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Roth, Lina
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Batakis, Petros
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Genomic Regions Associated With Interspecies Communication in Dogs Contain Genes Related to Human Social Disorders2016Ingår i: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 6, artikel-id 33439Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Unlike their wolf ancestors, dogs have unique social skills for communicating and cooperating with humans. Previously, significant heritabilities for human-directed social behaviors have been found in laboratory beagles. Here, a Genome-Wide Association Study identified two genomic regions associated with dog's human-directed social behaviors. We recorded the propensity of laboratory beagles, bred, kept and handled under standardized conditions, to initiate physical interactions with a human during an unsolvable problem-task, and 190 individuals were genotyped with an HD Canine SNP-chip. One genetic marker on chromosome 26 within the SEZ6L gene was significantly associated with time spent close to, and in physical contact with, the human. Two suggestive markers on chromosome 26, located within the ARVCF gene, were also associated with human contact seeking. Strikingly, four additional genes present in the same linkage blocks affect social abilities in humans, e.g., SEZ6L has been associated with autism and COMT affects aggression in adolescents with ADHD. This is, to our knowledge, the first genome-wide study presenting candidate genomic regions for dog sociability and inter-species communication. These results advance our understanding of dog domestication and raise the use of the dog as a novel model system for human social disorders.

  • 8.
    Sundman, Ann-Sofie
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Persson, Mia
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Grozelier, Anna
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Halldén, Lise-Lotte
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Jensen, Per
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Roth, Lina
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för fysik, kemi och biologi, Biologi. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Understanding of human referential gestures is not correlated to human-directed social behaviour in Labrador retrievers and German shepherd dogs2018Ingår i: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, ISSN 0168-1591, E-ISSN 1872-9045, Vol. 201, s. 46-53Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Dogs are known to excel in interspecific communication with humans and both communicate with humans and follow human communicative cues. Two tests commonly used to test these skills are, firstly, the problem-solving paradigm, and, secondly, following human referential signals, for example pointing. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether dogs that seek more human contact in an unsolvable problem-solving paradigm also better understand human communicative cues in a pointing test. We also assessed between- and within-breed variation in both tests. 167 dogs were tested and were of the breeds German shepherd dog and Labrador retriever. The Labradors were separated into the two selection lines: common type (bred for show and pet) and field type (bred for hunting). A principal component analysis of behaviours during the problem solving revealed four components: Passivity, Experimenter Contact, Owner Contact and Eye Contact. We analysed the effect of these components on success rate in the pointing test and we found no effect for three of them, while a negative correlation was found for Owner Contact (F(1,147) = 6.892; P = 0.010). This was only present in common-typed Labradors. We conclude that the ability to follow a pointing cue does not predict the propensity for human-directed social behaviour in a problem-solving situation and suggest that the two tests measure different aspects of human-directed social behaviour in dogs.

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