Eniko Kubinyi

Eniko Kubinyi
Eötvös Loránd University · Department of Ethology

PhD

About

150
Publications
55,959
Reads
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4,123
Citations
Introduction
Enikő Kubinyi holds an MSc in Biology and a PhD in Ethology from the Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, Hungary). She is a senior researcher of the Family Dog Project, the first research group to study the behavioural and cognitive aspects of the dog-human relationship.Her research interests focus on the comparative analysis of dogs' and wolves' cognition, ethorobotics, personality, behavioural genetics, and canine cognitive aging.
Additional affiliations
October 2015 - present
Eötvös Loránd University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2013 - December 2013
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Position
  • Researcher
July 2012 - present
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (150)
Article
Full-text available
Movement interactions and the underlying social structure in groups have relevance across many social-living species. Collective motion of groups could be based on an "egalitarian" decision system, but in practice it is often influenced by underlying social network structures and by individual characteristics. We investigated whether dominance rank...
Preprint
Background Aging is the most significant risk factor in many diseases and for mortality alike, and it is known to be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Due to dogs’ importance in human societies, the study of aging in companion dogs is worthwhile in its own right. Still, dogs could also be ideal translational model animals for hu...
Preprint
The domestication of dogs from their shared ancestors with wolves occurred around 25,000 years ago and affected many characteristics of the species, including its appearance and behavior. Comparative RNA sequencing experiments can help shed light on the delicate details of gene expression regulation responsible for the variance in complex traits be...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs may possess a unique translational potential to investigate neural aging and dementia because they are prone to age-related cognitive decline, including an Alzheimer’s disease–like pathological condition. Yet very little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying canine cognitive decline. The goal of the current study was to explore th...
Preprint
Full-text available
The prolonged lifespan of companion dogs has resulted in an increased occurrence of behavioural and physical challenges linked to old age. The development of behavioural tests for identifying and monitoring age-related differences has begun. However, standardised testing requires validation. The present study aimed to assess external validity, inte...
Article
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a significant burden for human health that is increasing in prevalence as the global population ages. There is growing recognition that current preclinical models of AD are insufficient to recapitulate key aspects of the disease. Laboratory models for AD include mice, which do not naturally develop AD-like pathology duri...
Article
Separation related problems (SRP) caused by distress associated with separation from the preferred member of the social group, can be characterised by their symptoms e.g., excessive vocalisation. In dogs’ separation whines, nonlinear phenomena (NLP) (abrupt changes in the resonance of the vocal folds) might occur, which could be adaptive in communi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aging is driven by the progressive, lifelong accumulation of cellular damage. Autophagy (cellular self-eating) functions as a major cell clearance mechanism to degrade such damages, and its capacity declines with age. Despite its physiological and medical significance, it remains largely unknown why autophagy becomes incapable of effectively elimin...
Article
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Biobanking refers to the systematic collection , storage, and distribution of pre-or post-mortem biological samples derived from volunteer donors. The demand for high-quality human specimens is clearly demonstrated by the number of newly emerging biobanking facilities and large international collabora-tive networks. Several animal species are relev...
Article
Full-text available
Forming eye contact is important in dog–human communication. In this study we measured what factors affect dogs’ propensity for forming eye contact with an experimenter. We investigated the effect of [1] cephalic index (head shape’s metric, indicator of higher visual acuity at the centre of the visual field), [2] breed function (visual cooperativen...
Article
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Describing evolutionary conserved physiological or molecular patterns, which can reliably mark the age of both model organisms and humans or predict the onset of age-related pathologies has become a priority in aging research. The age-related gene-expression changes of the Cyclin Dependent Kinase Inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A) gene have been well-documented...
Article
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Research on the genetics of domestication most often focuses on the protein-coding exons. However, exons cover only a minor part (1-2%) of the canine genome, whereas functional mutations may be located also in regions beyond the exome, in regulatory regions. Therefore, a large proportion of phenotypical differences between dogs and wolves may remai...
Article
Full-text available
During social interactions, acoustic parameters of tetrapods’ vocalisations reflect the emotional state of the caller. Higher levels of spectral noise and the occurrence of irregularities (non-linear phenomena NLP) might be negative arousal indicators in alarm calls, although less is known about other distress vocalisations. Family dogs experience...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep spindles are phasic events observed in mammalian non-rapid eye movement sleep. They are relevant today in the study of memory consolidation, sleep quality, mental health and ageing. We argue that our advanced understanding of their mechanisms has not exhausted the utility and need for animal model work. This is both because some topics, like...
Article
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Although a positive link between sleep spindle occurrence and measures of post-sleep recall (learning success) is often reported for humans and replicated across species, the test-retest reliability of the effect is sometimes questioned. The largest to date study could not confirm the association, however methods for automatic spindle detection div...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The privately owned companion dog is an increasingly important model in aging research because it shares the human environment, is exposed to similar environmental risk factors, receives comparable medical care, and develops many of the same age-related pathologies. One such pathology is Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), which shares many of the...
Article
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Inspired by work on infants, we investigated whether dogs' behaviors are guided by human displays of preference, contrasting with the animals' own choices. In a rewarded fetching task, dogs override their own interest toward "disgusting" objects and retrieve what the owner prefers. However, in previous research, both objects were inherently neutral...
Article
Full-text available
In humans, age-related changes in personality occur in a non-random fashion with respect to their direction, timing, and magnitude. In dogs, there are still gaps in our knowledge about the detailed dynamics of age-related personality changes. We analysed the personality of 217 Border collies aged from 0.5 to 15 years both cross-sectionally and long...
Article
Full-text available
Computed tomography (CT) is one of the most useful techniques for digitizing bone structures and making endocranial models from the neurocranium. The resulting digital endocasts reflect the morphology of the brain and the associated structures. Our first aim was to document the methodology behind creating detailed digital endocasts of canine skulls...
Article
Full-text available
Locating unpredictable but essential resources is a task that all mobile animals have to perform in order to survive and reproduce. Research on search strategies has focused largely on independent individuals [1, 2, 3], but many organisms display collective behaviors, including during group search and foraging [4, 5, 6]. One classical experimental...
Article
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Dogs live in 45% of households, integrated into various human groups in various societies. This is certainly not true for wolves. We suggest that dogs' increased tractability (meant as individual dogs being easier to control, handle and direct by humans, in contrast to trainability defined as performance increase due to training) makes a crucial co...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Recent studies suggest that clinically sound ventriculomegaly in dogs could be a preliminary form of the clinically significant hydrocephalus. We evaluated changes of ventricular volumes in awake functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) trained dogs with indirectly assessed cognitive abilities over time (thus avoiding the use of an...
Article
Full-text available
Gut microbiota can crucially influence behavior and neurodevelopment. Dogs show unique similarities to humans in their physiology and may naturally develop dementia-like cognitive decline. We assessed 29 pet dogs’ cognitive performance in a memory test and analyzed the bacterial 16S rRNA gene from fecal samples collected right after the behavioral...
Article
Full-text available
Human brains process lexical meaning separately from emotional prosody of speech at higher levels of the processing hierarchy. Recently we demonstrated that dog brains can also dissociate lexical and emotional prosodic information in human spoken words. To better understand the neural dynamics of lexical processing in the dog brain, here we used an...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last few years, several efforts have been undertaken to characterize the aging process in dogs. In the present study, we evaluate a short protocol measuring dogs’ cognitive, social, and physical capacities. Our aim was to develop a feasible test battery, with minimal pre-training requirements, no complex devices, and which is set outdoors...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although the molecular function of wolframin remains unclear, the lack of this protein is known to cause stress in the endoplasmic reticulum. Some variants in the Wolfram Syndrome 1 gene (WFS1) were associated with various neuropsychiatric disorders in humans, such as aggressiveness, impulsivity and anxiety. Results: Here we present...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs have outstanding capabilities to read human emotional expressions, both vocal and facial. It has also been shown that positively versus negatively valenced dog-human social interactions substantially affect dogs’ subsequent sleep. In the present study, we manipulated dogs’ (N = 15, in a within subject design) sleep structure by specifically di...
Article
Full-text available
Visual and auditory impairments can have a large impact on performance in cognitive tests. It is important to evaluate the sensory capacities of dogs before enrolling them in cognitive tests, in order to exclude sensory impairment as confounding effect. Therefore we designed multiple non-invasive testing paradigms to detect subjects with potential...
Article
Full-text available
In both humans and dogs sleep spindle occurrence between acquisition and recall of a specific memory correlate with learning performance. However, it is not known whether sleep spindle characteristics are also linked to performance beyond the span of a day, except in regard to general mental ability in humans. Such a relationship is likely, as both...
Article
Full-text available
In dogs, the social and spatial restriction associated with living in a kennel environment could lead to chronic stress and the development of abnormal behaviors ("kennel-dog syndrome"). However, little is known about how kenneled dogs differ from their conspecifics living as pets in human families. In the current study, using a test battery exposi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Although the molecular function of wolframin remains unclear, the lack of this protein is known to cause stress in the endoplasmic reticulum. Some variants in the Wolfram Syndrome 1 gene (WFS1) were associated with various neuropsychiatric disorders in humans, such as aggressiveness, impulsivity and anxiety. Results Here we present an i...
Article
Full-text available
When faced with unsolvable or difficult situations dogs use different behavioral strategies. If they are motivated to obtain rewards, they either try to solve the problem on their own or tend to interact with a human partner. Based on the observation that in problem situations less successful and less perseverant dogs look more at the humans' face,...
Article
Full-text available
Dogs are looking at and gaining information from human faces in a variety of contexts. Next to behavioral studies investigating the topic, recent fMRI studies reported face sensitive brain areas in dogs' temporal cortex. However, these studies used whole heads as stimuli which contain both internal (eyes, nose, mouth) and external facial features (...
Article
Full-text available
The dog has been suggested as a possible model for personality development over the lifespan, however, we know little about how aging may shape their personality or the magnitude of age-related changes. Previously we established that aging influences multiple dog demographics, which could also affect how personality traits change across different a...
Article
Full-text available
Social dominance is an important and widely used concept, however, different interpretations have led to ambiguity in the scientific literature and in popular science. Even though in ethology dominance is an attribute of dyadic encounters, and not a characteristic of the individual, ‘dominance’ has often been referred to as a personality trait in a...
Article
Full-text available
Age-related changes in the brain can alter how emotions are processed. In humans, valence specific changes in attention and memory were reported with increasing age, i.e. older people are less attentive toward and experience fewer negative emotions, while processing of positive emotions remains intact. Little is yet known about this “positivity eff...
Article
This study was undertaken to estimate basic population parameters and compare resolution capabilities of two chosen STR panels (Mini-DogFiler, MDF; “ASCH”). Wolf´s like dog breeds, namely Czechoslovakian wolfdog (n = 55), Saarloos wolfdog (n = 22), and samples of the Eurasian wolf (n = 21) were selected for their close genetic relationship. Also, G...
Article
Full-text available
Resting-state networks are spatially distributed, functionally connected brain regions. Studying these networks gives us information about the large-scale functional organization of the brain and alternations in these networks are considered to play a role in a wide range of neurological conditions and aging. To describe resting-state networks in d...
Article
Full-text available
Aging research has experienced a burst of scientific efforts in the last decades as the growing ratio of elderly people has begun to pose an increased burden on the healthcare and pension systems of developed countries. Although many breakthroughs have been reported in understanding the cellular mechanisms of aging, the intrinsic and extrinsic fact...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Dogs ( Canis familiaris ) are natural models of several human diseases, including age-related dementia. However, the molecular techniques, which are routinely applied in invertebrate and rodent models to study disease pathologies and mechanisms, has limited applicability in dogs, mainly because of ethical reasons. In the case of humans,...
Conference Paper
In order to visualize a canine brain with multimodal imaging and enhanced detailedness we made a comparative neuroanatomical study. A two-year-old female Beagle dog was scanned ante- and post mortem with CT and MRI. Arteries were filled with red polyurethane resin through the common carotid arteries post mortem (all procedures were approved in PEI/...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The aim of this study was to explore spontaneous social interactions between dyads of unfamiliar adult dogs. Although intraspecific encounters are frequent events in the life of pet dogs, the factors that might influence encounters, such as sex, dyad composition, reproductive status, age, and state of cohabitation (keeping the dogs s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction. Creating a novel anatomical atlas requires a technique showing an organ in a different perspective, or that the applied method results in an enhanced image quality compared to previous work. We visualized a canine brain with multimodal imaging techniques for comparative studies. Materials and Methods. A two-year-old female Beagle do...
Conference Paper
Analyzing gross morphology and inter-species differences of the brain can be done in different ways. Direct methods allow to examine the organ either ex situ by removing it or in situ, through imaging methods (e.g., CT, MRI). Indirect methods rely on the estimation of the volume of an endocranial cast, obtained by filling the endocranium with a cer...
Article
Full-text available
Non-REM bursts of activity in the sigma range (9–16 Hz) typical of sleep spindles predict learning in dogs, similar to humans and rats. Little is known, however, about the age-related changes in amplitude, density (spindles/minute) and frequency (waves/second) of canine spindles. We investigated a large sample (N = 155) of intact and neutered pet d...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Dogs have recently become an important model species for comparative social and cognitive neuroscience. Brain template-related label maps are essential for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data analysis, to localize neural responses. In this study, we present a detailed, individual-based, T1-weighted MRI-based brai...
Article
Full-text available
Dominance is well defined in ethology, debated in psychology, and is often unclear among the dog owning public and in the press. However, to date, no study has examined how owners perceive dominance in dogs, and what different behaviours and personality types are used to describe dominant and subordinate individuals. A questionnaire study was launc...
Article
Full-text available
Most common methods that directly show macro- or microscopic anatomy of the brain usually require the removal of the organ from the neurocranium. However, the brain can be revealed in situ by using proper sectioning techniques. Our aim was to both improve the cryosectioning method, test its limits and create a high-resolution macro-anatomical image...
Data
The embedding box (A) and the frozen head block inside the holder (B). (TIF)
Data
The cryomacrotomisation process. (TIF)
Article
Full-text available
Several studies on age-related cognitive decline in dogs involve laboratory dogs and prolonged training. We developed two spatial tasks that required a single 1-h session. We tested 107 medium-large sized dogs: “young” (N=41, aged 2.5–6.5 years) and “old” (N=66, aged 8–14.5 years). Our results indicated that, in a discrimination learning task and i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The purpose of the study was to investigate how the brain ventricles’ volume changes with age in a unique sample, i.e. dogs trained to lay awake in an MRI during scanning. Structural MRI data were obtained at least twice (1-6 years between scans) from 21 family dogs (Mage = 3.81 years, range 1.1-11.4; F = 7, M = 14) trained to lay motionless (movem...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dominance is a well-established phenomenon in ethology, however the dog-owning public often misuses the term. A questionnaire study was launched to investigate the validity of owner-derived estimates of dominance in dog dyads sharing the same household (N=1151). According to the owners, dominant dogs (87%) have priority access to resources (resting...