Birger Puppe

Birger Puppe
Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology | FBN · Institute of Behavioural Physiology

Prof. Dr.

About

174
Publications
33,742
Reads
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4,390
Citations
Citations since 2016
67 Research Items
2319 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Additional affiliations
September 2014 - present
Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)
Position
  • Head of Department (Director)
December 2011 - present
University of Rostock
Position
  • Behavioural Biology and Animal Welfare
December 2011 - present
University of Rostock
Position
  • Chair of Behavioural Sciences

Publications

Publications (174)
Article
Full-text available
A wide range of species exhibit time- and context-consistent interindividual variation in a number of specific behaviors related to an individual's personality. Several studies have shown that individual differences in personality-associated behavioral traits have an impact on cognitive abilities. The aim of this study was to investigate the relati...
Article
Full-text available
Both humans and nonhuman animals need to show self-control and wait for a larger or better reward instead of a smaller or less preferred but instant reward on an everyday basis. We investigated whether this ability undergoes ontogenetic development in domestic pigs (similar to what is known in human infants) by testing if and for how long nine- and...
Article
Full-text available
Indiscriminate voiding of excreta by cattle contributes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and soil and water contamination¹,². Emissions are higher in animal-friendly husbandry offering cattle more space² — a trade-off we call the ‘climate killer conundrum’. Voiding in a specific location (latrine) would help resolve this dilemma by allowing ready...
Conference Paper
Due to high ammonia and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock farming, both technical and behavioural solutions for reducing discharges need to be developed. Ammonia is formed when faeces and urine come into contact. A behavioural approach to facilitate separation of excreta would be to train cattle to use a latrine. Reliable latrine...
Conference Paper
Due to high ammonia and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock farming, both technical and behavioural solutions for reducing discharges need to be developed. Ammonia is formed when faeces and urine come into contact. A behavioural approach to facilitate separation of excreta would be to train cattle to use a latrine. Reliable latrine...
Article
Full-text available
The growing recognition of animals as individuals has broader implications for farm animal welfare research. Even under highly standardized on-farm conditions, farm animals show heterogeneous but individually consistent behavioural patterns towards various stimuli, based on how they appraise these stimuli. As a result, animal welfare is likely to b...
Chapter
Modern pig housing environments provide animals with essential resources, but from an animal’s point of view, they are quite barren and deprive them of the opportunity to make full use of their natural behavioural repertoire and actively work for these resources. The lack of stimulation resulting from such environments compromises animal welfare. T...
Conference Paper
Ammoniakemissionen stammen in Europa zu einem großen Teil aus der Rinderhaltung und führen zu Umweltschäden. Eine Möglichkeit diese zu reduzieren, ist die Trennung von Kot und Urin unmittelbar nach der Ausscheidung. Dafür können Rinder trainiert werden, ihre Ausscheidungen in einer speziellen Latrine abzusetzen. Eine mögliche Trainingsprozedur habe...
Article
Full-text available
In humans, speech perception is lateralized, with the left hemisphere of the brain dominant in processing the communicative content and the right hemisphere dominant in processing the emotional content. However, still little is known about such a division of tasks in other species. We therefore investigated lateralized processing of communicative a...
Article
Full-text available
Untrained cattle do not defecate or urinate in defined locations. The toilet training of cattle would allow urine and faeces to be separated and stored, reducing climate-damaging emissions and improving animal health. In a proof-of-concept study, we evaluated a novel protocol for toilet training in cattle. Five heifer calves (and yoked controls) we...
Article
Full-text available
Typically, cattle urinate and defecate with little or no control over time and place. The resulting excreta contributes to a range of adverse effects on the environment and the animals themselves. These adverse effects could be substantially ameliorated if livestock could be toilet trained. Toilet training requires an animal to suppress impending v...
Article
Full-text available
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is an important component of neuroendocrine stress regulation and coping behavior. Transcriptome profiles of the hypothalamus and adrenal gland were assessed to identify molecular pathways and candidate genes for coping behavior in pigs. Ten each of high- (HR) and low- (LR) reactive pigs (n = 20) were s...
Preprint
Emotions, unlike mood, are short-lived reactions associated with specific events. They can be characterized by two main dimensions, their arousal (bodily activation) and valence (negative versus positive). Knowledge of the valence of emotions experienced by domestic and captive animals is crucial for assessing and improving their welfare, as it ena...
Preprint
Full-text available
Emotions, unlike mood, are short-lived reactions associated with specific events. They can be characterized by two main dimensions, their arousal (bodily activation) and valence (negative versus positive). Knowledge of the valence of emotions experienced by domestic and captive animals is crucial for assessing and improving their welfare, as it ena...
Conference Paper
The observation of laterality –hemispheric asymmetries in structure and/or function– is a promising non-invasive approach to better understand animal affect since it can give insight into cerebral processes underlying the key components of emotions. The emotional valence hypothesis states that positive emotions are mostly processed by the left hemi...
Article
Full-text available
Oestrus detection remains a problem in the dairy cattle industry. Therefore, automatic detection systems have been developed to detect specific behavioural changes at oestrus. Vocal behaviour has not been considered in such automatic oestrus detection systems in cattle, though the vocalisation rate is known to increase during oestrus. The main chal...
Article
Full-text available
Based on the animal’s reaction to environmental challenges, consistent but different coping styles can be identified, which in turn may have consequences for health and welfare. Therefore, profound knowledge of the complex interrelationships between individual behavioral response patterns, underlying neurobiological mechanisms and immunological eff...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding animal emotions is an important scientific and ethical question but assessing emotional valence is still considered challenging. As the observation of lateralization (hemispheric asymmetries in structure and/or function) can provide insight into the underlying processes of the cognitive, physiological and behavioural components of emo...
Poster
Full-text available
Studying emotional lateralization is a promising noninvasive approach for investigating and even improving animal welfare. According to the emotional valence hypothesis, the left hemisphere processes positive emotions while the right hemisphere processes negative emotions. This hypothesis could help comprehending lateralized processing of emotional...
Article
Walking ability is related to motor co-ordination which, in rodents, can be assessed by an established test in pharmacological studies — the rotarod test. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a modified rotarod test for chickens and its relation to the often-used gait score system. At the end of their rearing period, we tested 138 male chicken...
Article
Full-text available
Pullets, i. e., chickens of layer lines are often raised in housings equipped with perches. In contrast, broiler chickens most often are raised in a barren environment that lacks any three-dimensional structures, even though broilers also are motivated to use elevated structures. In addition, environmental enrichment may improve welfare problems in...
Article
Stress response and coping behavior in pigs are largely shaped by hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and sympatho-adrenomedullary system action. However, the dynamic interaction between amygdala and hippocampus crucially modulates the behavioral response towards significant emotional events. While this functional relationship is well documented, t...
Article
Full-text available
The assessment of personality in farm animals and its relation to other behavioural and physiological traits is of growing scientific and practical interest. Therefore, the aims of the present study were first to assess the personality of dwarf goats in the context of the proactive/reactive dichotomy and second to elucidate cross-context correlatio...
Article
Full-text available
Delay-of-gratification paradigms, such as the famous “Marshmallow Test,” are designed to investigate the complex cognitive concepts of self-control and impulse control in humans and animals. Such tests determine whether a subject will demonstrate impulse control by choosing a large, delayed reward over an immediate, but smaller reward. Documented r...
Data
Overview of the performance of each pig during the discrimination test over the course of the sessions for both groups (“quantity”: with a quantitative difference in reward, i.e., 1 vs. 4 pieces of the most preferred reward; “quality”: with a qualitative difference in reward, i.e., 1 piece of the most preferred vs. 1 piece of the least preferred re...
Data
Overview of the omissions during the preference test: percentage of omissions with regard to the number of total trials (N = 45) per animal, percentage of items refused by the individual animals (group = “quantity” [amount: 1:4], “quality” [differentially preferred items: low:high]; animal = 1-10) from both groups (group = “quantity” [amount: 1:4],...
Data
Overview of the choices during the preference test: percentage of choices made with regard to the number of total trials (N = 45) per animal, percentage of items chosen by individual animals (group = “quantity” [amount: 1:4], “quality” [differentially preferred items: low:high]; animal = 1-10) from both groups (group = “quantity” [amount: 1:4], “qu...
Article
Full-text available
Animal individuality is challenging to explain because individual differences are regulated by multiple selective forces that lead to unique combinations of characteristics. For instance, the study of personality, a core aspect of individuality, may benefit from integrating other factors underlying individual differences, such as lateralised cerebr...
Article
Full-text available
The domestic fowl (Gallus gallus f. dom.) is highly motivated to roost on elevated structures. Previous studies indicated that broiler chickens hardly use elevated perches but frequently use elevated platforms. However, it is unclear which height and type of elevated structures broilers prefer at various daytimes. We investigated the use of elevate...
Article
Full-text available
Measuring and understanding personality in animals is a rising scientific field. Much research has been conducted to assess distinctive individual differences in behavior in a large number of species in the past few decades, and increasing numbers of studies include farm animals. Nevertheless, the terminology and definitions used in this broad scie...
Article
Full-text available
Self-determined physical activity is an essential behavioural need and can vary considerably between individuals of a given species. Although locomotion is suggested as a prerequisite for adequate function of skeletal muscle, domestic pigs are usually reared under limited space allowance. The aim of our study was to investigate if a different volun...
Article
The reliable detection of estrus is an important scientific and practical challenge in dairy cattle farming. Female vocalization may indicate reproductive status, and preliminary evidence suggests that this information can be used to detect estrus in dairy cattle. The aim of this study was to associate the changes in the vocalization rate of dairy...
Article
Full-text available
Motor lateralization is hypothesized to depend on the complexity of the motor function, but it might at the same time reflect hemispheric dominance within an individual across motor functions. We investigated possible motor lateralization patterns in four motor functions of different complexity (snout use in a manipulative task, foot use in two-ste...
Conference Paper
Impulse control is the ability to resist the impulse taking an immediate but smaller/ worse reward instead of choosing a delayed but bigger/better reward. Only one study showed that pigs have the ability to show impulse control. The present study first examined whether there are differences in impulse control when the food reward differs in quality...
Article
Full-text available
Exposure to psychosocial stress can have a profound impact on immune reactivity and health mediated by hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation. However, current knowledge regarding the mechanisms involved in cross-sensitization between stress and the immune system is limited. Here, we investigated the effects of a single social isolati...
Article
Vocalizations have long been recognized to encode information about an individual's emotional state and, as such, have contributed to the study of emotions in animals. However, the potential of vocalizations to also encode information about an individual's emotional reactivity has received much less attention. In this study, we aimed to test whethe...
Article
In order to protect farm animal welfare, one first needs to establish a working definition of the term , welfare', i.e. the society needs to agree on what comprises welfare; then, valid indicators are needed to evaluate it. This article first lays out a definition of welfare, and then intro-duces several welfare indicators in pigs, with a special f...
Article
Full-text available
Since the introduction of the backtest for the early detection of coping strategies in piglets by Hessing in the 1990s, this behavioural test has been intensively investigated with ambiguous results. One possible explanation for this lack of consistency might be the different classification methods used in many studies, so the first aim of this res...
Article
Full-text available
Based on individual adaptive strategies (coping), animals may react differently to environmental challenges in terms of behavior and physiology according to their emotional perception. Emotional valence as well as arousal may be derived by measuring vagal and sympathetic tone of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). We investigated the situation-depe...
Article
The assessment and provision of welfare in farm animals has become a major issue in animal science. A key element for providing good welfare is the enabling of positive affective states in the animals. As the serotonergic system plays a central role in regulating affective behavior, an increase in centrally available serotonin (5-HT) via dietary su...
Article
Martinho and Kacelnik (Reports, 15 July 2016, p. 286) reported that newly hatched ducklings imprinted on relational concepts. We argue that reanalyzing the data at the individual level shows that this conclusion cannot be applied for all sets of stimuli presented and that the ability to grasp relational concepts is limited to the stimulus category...
Article
Cognitive and affective processes are highly interrelated. This has implications for neuropsychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder in humans but also for the welfare of non-human animals. The brain serotonergic system might play a key role in mediating the relationship between cognitive functions and affective regulation. The aim of...
Article
Full-text available
The presence of an affiliative conspecific may alleviate an individual’s stress response in threatening conditions. However, the mechanisms and neural circuitry underlying the process of social buffering have not yet been elucidated. Using the domestic pig as an animal model, we examined the effect of a 4-h maternal and littermate deprivation on st...
Conference Paper
Immer mehr Studien nutzen die Erfassung kognitiver Bewertungstendenzen („cognitive bias“) zur Bestimmung affektiver Zustände. Die zugrunde liegenden physiologischen Mechanismen sind allerdings noch weitgehend ungeklärt. Die hier vorgestellte Studie setzt am serotonergen System an, wobei durch pharmakologische Manipulation die Serotoninverfügbarkeit...
Conference Paper
Zusammenfassung Serotonin, das aus der essentiellen Aminosäure Tryptophan (TRP) gebildet wird, ist so-wohl in die Steuerung der Nahrungsaufnahme als auch in die Regulation affektiver Zu-stände involviert. Ob eine TRP-Supplementierung der Nahrung und damit verbunden eine Erhöhung der TRP-und Serotoninkonzentration im Gehirn auch den affektiven Zusta...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung In der vorliegenden Studie wurde der Zusammenhang zwischen Persönlichkeits-(Coping-) Typ und autonomer Reaktion von Schweinen in unterschiedlichen Verhaltenskontexten untersucht. Vierzehn Schweine der deutschen Landrasse wurden dem proaktiven oder reaktiven Coping-Typ zugeordnet (Backtest). Im Alter von 70 Tagen wurde mittels ei-nes...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung In den letzten Jahrzehnten ist die Persönlichkeitsforschung bei Tieren, vor allem auch bei Nutztieren, immer mehr in den Fokus der Forschung gerückt. Einer von mehreren Ansätzen, um personality zu verstehen, ist die Untersuchung von proaktiven und reakti-ven Bewältigungstypen. Proaktive Individuen sind explorativ, risikofreudig und...
Article
Public concern for farm animal welfare calls for reliable scientific tools to measure it. Measuring cognitive bias, i.e., the influence of affective states on cognitive processing, has gained importance during recent years. The one most often adapted experimental design to test cognitive bias in non-human animals is the spatial judgement task, wher...
Article
The aim of our study was to characterize the immediate phenotypic and adaptive regulatory responses of fetuses to different in utero conditions reflecting inadequate maternal protein supply during gestation. The gilts fed high- (250% above control) or low- (50% under control) protein diets isoenergetically adjusted at the expense of carbohydrates f...
Conference Paper
The cognitive bias approach provides information on the valence of affective states in non-human animals. In our study, we used a serotonin depletion model using para-Chlorophenylalanine (pCPA) to decrease brain serotonin levels in pigs in order to validate our cognitive bias paradigm and provide insight into its neural underpinnings. All experimen...
Poster
Full-text available
Since several years applied ethologists gained more and more interest in the concept of animal personality and its practical implementations in animal breeding, management, housing and welfare. Referring to the concept of coping, Hessing introduced the backtest in young piglets in the early 1990s and hypothesized that it can detect coping strategie...
Conference Paper
Analysis of heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP) and their respective variability (HRV, BPV) may provide a sensitive measure of autonomic activity. This allows the analysis of changes in sympathovagal balance related to diseases, psychological stressors or individual characteristics such as coping strategies. Characterization of piglets based on th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Analysis of heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP) and their respective variability may provide a sensitive measure of affective states, emotions, and stress, mediated by changes in sympathetic and parasympathetic tone. Most studies that incorporate cardiac activity to evaluate subjective states in farm animals are directed on the assessment of HR an...