Goats who stare at scientists: human-directed behaviour in livestock
Cognitive research on non-human animals has been, and will be, a flourishing field but surprisingly few studies have been conducted on farm animals. As a detailed understanding of the perceptive and cognitive abilities of non-human animals is necessary to understand their normal behavioural expressions and to avoid exposing them to mental distress, an approach towards the cognitive capacities of farm animals is crucial for progress in animal welfare related topics.
In this seminar talk, I will address recent advances in goat cognition using modified socio-cognitive test paradigms that have been previously used in comparative psychological research in canids and primates. Next to extending species range in comparative research, studies on the cognitive capacities of farm animals have the potential to build a bridge between applied ethology and comparative psychology.