Farm Animals’s Cognition and the Tests Used on Its Evaluation
Danielle P. B. Fernandes1, Iran J. O. da Silva1, Aérica C. Nazareno1 & Ana C. Donofre1
Abstract: Cognition is a set of activities and processes whereby an animal acquires information and develops knowledge. The most common cognitive processes are: memory, categorization, attention, reasoning and language. This present research was aimed to study the cognitive ability of livestock based on results of cognitive tests described in the literature, as well to expose the various types of tests applied to make such an assessment, in the periods from 1969 until nowadays. Through this bibliographic study, it was discussed issues related to cognition, sentience and animal consciousness, through preference tests, learning, recognition and memorization applied to domestic animals. In general they show a cognitive ability to evaluate the environment for themselves, based on their preferences and motivations. Cognitive tests have shown the high ability of some species to memorize their handlers’ faces, and recognize who is aversively dealing with. Furthermore, it was possible to prove that some producing species are sentient and their choices able to imply physical sensations that can affect your mental state. Thus, it is important to point out measures to help improve the well-being of the animals.
Key words: animal sentience, memory, motivation, preference test, welfare
Resumo: A cognição é o conjunto de processos pelos quais um animal adquire informações e desenvolve conhecimento. Os processos cognitivos mais comuns são: memória, categorização, atenção, raciocínio e linguagem. A presente pesquisa teve como objetivo avaliar a cognição de animais de produção baseado em resultados de testes de cognição já descritos na literatura, bem como expor os diversos tipos de testes aplicados para realizar tal avaliação, desde o ano de 1969 até o momento. Neste levantamento bibliográfico foi discutido aspectos relacionados à cognição, consciência e senciência animal, por meio de testes de preferência, aprendizagem, reconhecimento e memorização aplicados à animais domésticos. Em geral os animais apresentam uma capacidade cognitiva de avaliar o ambiente em relação a si próprio, com base nas suas preferências e motivações. Os testes cognitivos têm mostrado a alta capacidade de algumas espécies em memorizar o rosto dos seus tratadores, além de reconhecer os que os tratam de forma aversiva. Por conseguinte, foi possível comprovar que algumas espécies destinadas à produção são sencientes, sendo as suas escolhas capazes de implicar em sensações físicas que podem afetar o seu estado mental. Assim, torna-se importante apontar medidas que auxiliem na melhoria do bem-estar dos mesmos.
Palavras-chave: bem-estar, memorização, motivação, senciência animal, testes de preferência
1 Núcleo de Pesquisa em Ambiência (NUPEA), Departamento de Engenharia de Biossistemas, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Pádua Dias, 11, PO Box 9, 13418-900 Piracicaba, Brazil. E-mail: email@example.com
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