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Selected Publication:

Publication type: Journal Article
Document type: Report

Year: 2017

Author(s): Essler, JL; Marshall-Pescini, S; Range, F

Title: Domestication Does Not Explain the Presence of Inequity Aversion in Dogs.

Source: Curr Biol. 2017; 27(12):1861-1865.e3



Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Essler Jennifer
Marshall Sarah
Range Friederike

Vetmed Research Units
Messerli Research Institute, Comparative Cognition


Project(s): Understanding the proximate mechanisms of canine cooperation


Abstract:
Sensitivity to inequity is thought to be an important mechanism for recognizing undesirable cooperative partners and thus crucial for the evolution of human cooperation [1]. This link may not be unique to humans, as cooperative non-human primates also react to unequal outcomes [2], whereas non-cooperative species do not [3]. Although this hypothesis has not been tested in non-primate species, studies revealed that pet dogs show a limited form of inequity aversion, responding to reward, but not quality inequity [4-6]. It has been proposed that this primitive form of inequity aversion was selected for during domestication and thus absent in their ancestors, wolves. Alternatively, wolves, which hunt, raise pups, and defend their territory cooperatively, are similarly inequity averse as non-human primates, or at least to the same degree as pet dogs. Testing similarly raised and kept pack-living dogs and wolves, we found both to be inequity averse when their partner was being rewarded but they were not for performing the same action. Additionally, both wolves and dogs reacted to receiving a lower-quality reward than their partner. These results suggest that the inequity response found in pack-living dogs and wolves is comparable to that observed in non-human primates; results from studies on pet dogs may be confounded by the dogs" relationship with humans. Consequently, our results suggest that inequity aversion was present already in the common-probably cooperative-ancestor of wolves and dogs and thus support the hypothesis of a close link of cooperation and inequity aversion.

Keywords Pubmed: Affect
Animals
Behavior, Animal*
Dogs
Domestication*
Female
Male
Reward*
Social Behavior*
Wolves


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