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Describing temperament in an ungulate: a multidimensional approach
Ethology Unit, Institute of Behavioural Physiology, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Dummerstorf, Germany; Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (AUF), PHENOMICS office, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
Institute of Genetics and Biometry, Bioinformatics and Biomathematics Unit, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Dummerstorf, Germany.
Institute of Genetics and Biometry, Bioinformatics and Biomathematics Unit, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Dummerstorf, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7173-5579
Ethology Unit, Institute of Behavioural Physiology, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Dummerstorf, Germany; Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (AUF), Behavioural Sciences, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.
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2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 9, article id e74579Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies on animal temperament have often described temperament using a one-dimensional scale, whereas theoretical framework has recently suggested two or more dimensions using terms like "valence" or "arousal" to describe these dimensions. Yet, the valence or assessment of a situation is highly individual. The aim of this study was to provide support for the multidimensional framework with experimental data originating from an economically important species (Bos taurus). We tested 361 calves at 90 days post natum (dpn) in a novel-object test. Using a principal component analysis (PCA), we condensed numerous behaviours into fewer variables to describe temperament and correlated these variables with simultaneously measured heart rate variability (HRV) data. The PCA resulted in two behavioural dimensions (principal components, PC): novel-object-related (PC 1) and exploration-activity-related (PC 2). These PCs explained 58% of the variability in our data. The animals were distributed evenly within the two behavioural dimensions independent of their sex. Calves with different scores in these PCs differed significantly in HRV, and thus in the autonomous nervous system's activity. Based on these combined behavioural and physiological data we described four distinct temperament types resulting from two behavioural dimensions: "neophobic/fearful--alert", "interested--stressed", "subdued/uninterested--calm", and "neoophilic/outgoing--alert". Additionally, 38 calves were tested at 90 and 197 dpn. Using the same PCA-model, they correlated significantly in PC 1 and tended to correlate in PC 2 between the two test ages. Of these calves, 42% expressed a similar behaviour pattern in both dimensions and 47% in one. No differences in temperament scores were found between sexes or breeds. In conclusion, we described distinct temperament types in calves based on behavioural and physiological measures emphasising the benefits of a multidimensional approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
San Fransisco, USA: Public library science , 2013. Vol. 8, no 9, article id e74579
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Agricultural Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-40438DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074579ISI: 000327538600100PubMedID: 24040289Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84883826798OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-40438DiVA, id: diva2:777299
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2018-05-22Bibliographically approved

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Repsilber, Dirk

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