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Conference paper, 2010

Simultaneous Measurement of Brain Activity, Physiology & Behavior in Large Animals

Reefmann, Nadine; Muehlemann, Thomas; Wolf, Martin; Wechsler, Beat; Gygax, Lorenz


Assessing an animal's neuro-physiological and behavioural reaction to external stimuli simultaneously, continuously, and non-invasively is a major aim of applied animal welfare research to interpret a situation from the animal's perspective. The purpose of this study was to assess response of large animal (sheep) to 3 model situations with positive, intermediate and negative emotional valence. The following reactions of up to 19 sheep were recorded: brain acticity using functional near-infrared spectoscopy, facial expressions (ear postures and eye aperture), electrocardiogram, respiration rate, and electro-dermal activity. All variables were successfully recorded in the sheep and are promising to assess stress and well-being in sheep and potentially other large animals. The combination of several methods resulted in a comprehensive picture of the animals' reactions to environmental stimuli, initiating innovative animal research that combines neuroimaging, physiological monitoring and behavioural observations

Published in

Book title: Proceedings of measuring behavior 2010 : 7th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, August 24-27, 2010
ISBN: 978-90-74821-86-5
Publisher: Noldus Information Technology


Measuring Behaviour 2010, 7th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioural Research

Authors' information

Reefmann, Nadine
Muehlemann, Thomas
University of Zürich
Wolf, Martin
University of Zürich
Wechsler, Beat
Gygax, Lorenz

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science
Veterinary Science

URI (permanent link to this page)