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Poster communications

Visual laterality in the domestic horse (Equus caballus) differs with objects’ emotional value

Abstract : Lateralization of emotions has received great attention in the last decades, both in humans and animals, but little interest has been given to side bias in perceptual processing. Here, we investigated the influence of the emotional valence of stimuli on visual and olfactory explorations by horses, a large mammalian species with two large monocular visual fields and almost complete decussation of optic fibres. We confronted 38 Arab mares to three objects with either a positive, negative or neutral emotional valence (novel object). The results revealed a gradient of exploration of the 3 objects according to their emotional value and a clear asymmetry in visual exploration. When exploring the novel object, mares used preferentially their right eyes, while they showed a slight tendency to use their left eyes for the negative object. No asymmetry was evidenced for the object with the positive valence. Our data confirm the role of the left hemisphere in assessing novelty in horses like in many vertebrate species and the possible role of the right hemisphere in processing negative emotional responses. Our findings also suggest the importance of both hemispheres in the processing positive emotions. This study is, to our knowledge, the first to demonstrate clearly that the emotional valence of a stimulus induces a specific visual lateralization pattern.
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Poster communications
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Contributor : Umr6552 Ethos <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 11:40:54 AM
Last modification on : Monday, February 8, 2021 - 2:40:02 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01355809, version 1


Alice de Boyer Des Roches, Marie-Annick Richard-Yris, Séverine Henry, Mohammed Ezzaouia, Martine Hausberger. Visual laterality in the domestic horse (Equus caballus) differs with objects’ emotional value. Behavior 2009 - 31st International Ethological Conference, Aug 2009, Rennes, France. ⟨hal-01355809⟩



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