Emily E Bray

Emily E Bray
The University of Arizona | UA · School of Anthropology

PhD

About

23
Publications
7,778
Reads
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868
Citations
Additional affiliations
May 2017 - present
The University of Arizona
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Longitudinal cognitive and behavioral studies in assistance dogs
May 2017 - present
Canine Companions for Independence
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Longitudinal cognitive and behavioral studies in assistance dogs
Education
September 2012 - May 2017
University of Pennsylvania
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 2012 - May 2013
University of Pennsylvania
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 2008 - May 2012
Duke University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (23)
Article
Full-text available
Across three experiments, we explored whether a dog's capacity for inhibitory control is stable or variable across decision-making contexts. In the social task, dogs were first exposed to the reputations of a stingy experimenter that never shared food and a generous experimenter who always shared food. In subsequent test trials, dogs were required...
Article
Full-text available
A continuing debate in studies of social development in both humans and other animals is the extent to which early life experiences affect adult behavior. Also unclear are the relative contributions of cognitive skills (“intelligence”) and temperament for successful outcomes. Guide dogs are particularly suited to research on these questions. To suc...
Article
To characterize the early ontogeny of dog cognition, we tested 168 domestic dog, Canis familiaris, puppies (97 females, 71 males; mean age = 9.2 weeks) in a novel test battery based on previous tasks developed and employed with adolescent and adult dogs. Our sample consisted of Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and Labrador × golden retriever...
Article
Full-text available
** Full-text view-only SharedIt link: https://rdcu.be/b9o1a ** While our understanding of adult dog cognition has grown considerably over the past 20 years, relatively little is known about the ontogeny of dog cognition. To assess the development and longitudinal stability of cognitive traits in dogs, we administered a battery of tasks to 160 cand...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dogs exhibit similarities to humans in their sensitivity to cooperative-communicative cues, but the extent to which they are biologically prepared for communication with humans is heavily debated. To investigate the developmental and genetic origins of these traits, we tested 375 eight-week-old dog puppies on a battery of social-cognitive measures....
Preprint
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) is a form of dementia that shares many similarities with Alzheimer’s disease. Given that physical activity is believed to reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease in humans, we explored the association between physical activity and cognitive health in a cohort of companion dogs, aged 6-18 years. We hypothesized that hig...
Article
A variety of diets have been studied for possible anti-aging effects. In particular, studies of intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding in laboratory rodents have found evidence of beneficial health outcomes. Companion dogs represent a unique opportunity to study diet in a large mammal that shares human environments. The Dog Aging Project...
Article
Hypotheses regarding the evolution of uniquely human social cognition often emphasize not only mental state representation, but also mental state sharing. Mental state sharing is evident in instances of joint intentionality – mutual understanding between individuals of each other's simultaneous and interdependent commitment to a shared activity or...
Preprint
A variety of diets have been studied for possible anti-aging effects. In particular, studies of isocaloric time-restricted feeding in laboratory rodents have found evidence of beneficial health outcomes. Companion dogs represent a unique opportunity to study diet in a large mammal that shares human environments. The Dog Aging Project has been colle...
Preprint
Full-text available
To promote collaboration across canine science, address reproducibility issues, and advance open science practices within animal cognition, we have launched the ManyDogs consortium, modeled on similar ManyX projects in other fields. We aimed to create a collaborative network that (a) uses large, diverse samples to investigate and replicate findings...
Article
Although we know that dogs evolved from wolves, it remains unclear how domestication affected dog cognition. One hypothesis suggests dog domestication altered social maturation by a process of selecting for an attraction to humans.1, 2, 3 Under this account, dogs became more flexible in using inherited skills to cooperatively communicate with a new...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs are trained for a variety of working roles including assistance, protection, and detection work. Many canine working roles, in their modern iterations, were developed at the turn of the 20th century and training practices have since largely been passed down from trainer to trainer. In parallel, research in psychology has advanced our understan...
Article
Human cognition is believed to be unique in part because of early-emerging social skills for cooperative communication.¹ Comparative studies show that at 2.5 years old, children reason about the physical world similarly to other great apes, yet already possess cognitive skills for cooperative communication far exceeding those in our closest primate...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs perform a variety of integral roles in our society, engaging in work ranging from assistance (e.g., service dogs, guide dogs) and therapy to detection (e.g., search-and-rescue dogs, explosive detection dogs) and protection (e.g., military and law enforcement dogs). However, success in these roles, which requires dogs to meet challenging behavi...
Preprint
Full-text available
While we know that dogs evolved from wolves through a process of domestication, it remains unclear how this process may have affected dog cognitive development. Here we tested dog (N=44) and wolf (N=37) puppies, 5-18 weeks old, on a battery of temperament and cognition tasks. Dog puppies were more attracted to humans, read human gestures more skill...
Article
Full-text available
Assistance dogs can greatly improve the lives of people with disabilities. However, a large proportion of dogs bred and trained for this purpose are deemed unable to successfully fulfill the behavioral demands of this role. Often, this determination is not finalized until weeks or even months into training, when the dog is close to 2 years old. Thu...
Article
Full-text available
It is often assumed that measures of temperament within individuals are more correlated to one another than to measures of problem solving. However, the exact relationship between temperament and problem-solving tasks remains unclear because large-scale studies have typically focused on each independently. To explore this relationship, we tested 11...
Article
Full-text available
In both humans and non-humans, differences in maternal style during the first few weeks of life can be reliably characterized, and these differences affect offspring's temperament and cognition in later life. Drawing on the breeding population of dogs at The Seeing Eye, a guide dog school in Morristown, New Jersey, we conducted videotaped focal fol...
Article
Full-text available
How does maternal style, experienced over the first few weeks of life, affect later outcomes? Equally important, what is the role of an adolescent’s temperament and cognitive skills? The quest to understand which factors early in development lead to positive life outcomes is an endeavor that transcends species boundaries. In this dissertation, I ex...
Article
Full-text available
The emotional-reactivity hypothesis proposes that problem-solving abilities can be constrained by temperament, within and across species. One way to test this hypothesis is with the predictions of the Yerkes-Dodson law. The law posits that arousal level, a component of temperament, affects problem solving in an inverted U-shaped relationship: Optim...
Article
Full-text available
Cognition presents evolutionary research with one of its greatest challenges. Cognitive evolution has been explained at the proximate level by shifts in absolute and relative brain volume and at the ultimate level by differences in social and dietary complexity. However, no study has integrated the experimental and phylogenetic approach at the scal...

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How does maternal style, experienced over the first few weeks of life, affect later outcomes? Equally important, what is the role of an adolescent’s temperament and cognitive skills?