Zsófia Virányi

Zsófia Virányi
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna | vetmed · Comparative Cognition

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206
Publications
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Publications

Publications (206)
Article
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Pet dogs are promising candidates to study attachment-related and potentially jealousy-like behaviours in non-human animals, as they form a strong and stable bond with their human caregivers who often engage in affiliative interactions with diverse social partners. Nevertheless, it is still debated whether non-human animals are capable of experienc...
Article
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Pupil–corneal reflection (P–CR) eye tracking has gained a prominent role in studying dog visual cognition, despite methodological challenges that often lead to lower-quality data than when recording from humans. In the current study, we investigated if and how the morphology of dogs might interfere with tracking of P–CR systems, and to what extent...
Preprint
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Pupil-corneal reflection (P--CR) eye-tracking has gained a prominent role in studying dog visual cognition, despite methodological challenges that often lead to lower quality data than when recording from humans. In the current study, we investigated if and how the morphology of dogs might interfere with tracking of P--CR systems, and to what exte...
Article
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Domestic dogs display behavioural patterns towards their owners that fulfil the four criteria of attachment. As such, they use their owners as a secure base, exploring the environment and manipulating objects more when accompanied by their owners than when alone. Although there are some indications that owners serve as a better secure base than oth...
Article
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Social relationships can be described by a series of components, all having putatively different functional roles in the lives of humans and other social species. For instance, certain relationship characteristics can strongly influence how individuals deal with stress, ultimately influencing their fitness. However, species vary highly in regard to...
Article
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Clicker training is considered a welfare-friendly way of teaching novel behaviors to animals because it is mostly based on the positive reinforcement. However, trainers largely vary in their way of applying this training technique. According to the most, a reward (e.g., food) should follow every click, while others claim that dogs learn faster when...
Article
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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
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Dogs demonstrate behavioural changes and cognitive decline during aging. Compared to laboratory dogs, little is known about aging in pet dogs exposed to different environments and nutrition. In this study, we examined the effects of age, an enriched diet and lifelong training on different behavioural and cognitive measures in 119 pet dogs (>6yrs)....
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
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Self-control has been shown to be linked with being cooperative and successful in humans and with the g-factor in chimpanzees. As such, it is likely to play an important role in all forms of problem-solving. Self-control, however, does not just vary across individuals but seems also to be dependent on the ecological niche of the respective species....
Article
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[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195448.].
Article
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In recent years, two well-developed methods of studying mental processes in humans have been successively applied to dogs. First, eye-tracking has been used to study visual cognition without distraction in unrestrained dogs. Second, noninvasive functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been used for assessing the brain functions of dogs in v...
Article
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Due to their convergent evolution, dogs have been suggested as a good model for the evolution of human social skills, such as tolerance and cooperativeness. However, recent studies have revealed that wolves (dogs’ closest undomesticated relatives) are more tolerant and cooperative with conspecifics than dogs. It is still possible, though, that sele...
Article
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Most dogs worldwide are free-ranging animals that form relationships mainly with conspecifics, yet research has focused mainly on the dog-human bond, leading to the hypothesis that dogs evolved specific abilities to form a unique relationship with humans. Although widespread, this hypothesis has not, as yet, been tested. Here we compared the relati...
Article
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Aging is associated with a decline in cognitive functions such as learning, memory, attention, cognitive flexibility, and executive functions. Recent evidence indicates that interventions such as exercise, diet and cognitive training can be used to reduce the rate of age-dependent cognitive decline. In this study, we examined the changes in discrim...
Article
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Highly cooperative social species are expected to engage in frequent reconciliation following conflicts in order to maintain pack cohesiveness and preserve future cooperation. By contrast, in social species with low reliance on cooperation, reconciliation is expected to be less frequent. Here, we investigate the pattern of reconciliation in four ca...
Article
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Puppy packs (consisting of only puppies) and mixed-age packs (composed of puppies and adults) were observed to test whether social play can be used for assessing and establishing social relations in wolves, Canis lupus. Differently from previous studies, we looked at play behaviours in detail, allowing us to categorize play interactions as either c...
Article
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Individual behavioural differences in pet dogs are of great interest from a basic and applied research perspective. Most existing dog personality tests have specific (practical) goals in mind and so focused only on a limited aspect of dogs’ personality, such as identifying problematic (aggressive or fearful) behaviours, assessing suitability as wor...
Data
Variables used in the video rating. The variables were rated on a Likert scale from 1–5 (“disagree strongly”, “tend to disagree”, “partly-partly”, “tend to agree”, “agree strongly”). E: experimenter, O: owner. (PDF)
Data
Variables from video coding that remained in the analysis. E: experimenter, O: owner. Durations were calculated as percent of time. (PDF)
Data
The questionnaire used in the study (DPQ short form, Jones, 2008). The questions were rated on a Likert scale from 1–5 (“disagree strongly”, “tend to disagree”, “partly-partly”, “tend to agree”, “agree strongly”), items marked with an asterisk were reverse coded. The internal consistency of factors calculated from the data of the present study are...
Data
Results of the subtest-level PCA analyses of the video coding. For definition of the variables see S1 Table. E: experimenter, O: owner. Loadings > 0.4 are in bold. (PDF)
Data
Results of the subtest-level PCA analyses of the video rating. E: experimenter, O: owner. Loadings > 0.4 are in bold. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Variations in human infants' attachment behavior are associated with single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene, suggesting a genetic component to infant-mother attachment. However, due to the genetic relatedness of infants and their mothers, it is difficult to separate the genetic effects of infants' OXTR genotype...
Article
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Recent studies suggest that the relationship between endogenous oxytocin and social affiliative behavior can be critically moderated by contextual and individual factors in humans. While oxytocin has been shown to influence human-directed affiliative behaviors in dogs, no study investigated yet how such factors moderate these effects. Our study aim...
Article
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It has been suggested that dogs' remarkable capacity to use human communicative signals lies in their comparable social cognitive skills; however, this view has been questioned recently. The present study investigated associations between oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) polymorphisms and social behavior in human infants and dogs with the aim to unrav...
Article
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A fundamental precept of the scientific method is reproducibility of methods and results, and there is growing concern over the failure to reproduce significant results. Family dogs have become a favoured species in comparative cognition research, but they may be subject to cognitive differences arising from genetic (breeding lines) or cultural dif...
Article
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A decline in the physical or mental health of older dogs can be a challenge for the owners, whose relationship with their dog is compromised by the cognitive and behavioral changes in their dogs. Although dog owners tend to consider many physiological and behavioral changes in old dogs as part of the normal aging process, it is important to differe...
Article
A number of domestication hypotheses suggest that dogs have acquired a more tolerant temperament than wolves, promoting cooperative interactions with humans and conspecifics. This selection process has been proposed to resemble the one responsible for our own greater cooperative inclinations in comparison with our closest living relatives. However,...
Article
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It has been suggested that the way in which owners interact with their dogs can largely vary and influence the dog-owner bond, but very few objective studies, so far, have addressed how the owner interacts with the dog. The goal of the present study was to record dog owners' interaction styles by means of objective observation and coding. The exper...
Conference Paper
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Cognitive aging in pet dogs of different breeds: effects of an enriched diet and lifelong training Cognitive decline in dogs has been mostly studied in laboratory dogs, but little is known in pet dogs exposed to different environments and nutrition. In this study, we examined how age, enriched diet and lifelong training influence different behavi...
Article
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Whereas studies in comparative cognition normally invoke ecology and social organization to account for differences in social behaviour and cognition across species, dog–wolf differences have so far been explained mostly as a result of direct human selection for desirable traits (e.g., tameness, attention to humans, sociability). Yet, as will be re...
Article
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Dogs are renowned for being skilful at using human-given communicative cues such as pointing. Results are contradictory, however, when it comes to dogs' following human gaze, probably due to methodological discrepancies. Here we investigated whether dogs follow human gaze to one of two food locations better than into distant space even after compar...
Article
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Socialized wolves' relationship with humans is a much debated, but important question in light of dog domestication. Earlier findings reported no attachment to the caretaker at four months of age in a Strange Situation Test, while recently attachment to the caretaker was reported at a few weeks of age in a similar paradigm. To explore wolf–human re...
Article
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A growing body of evidence highlights the relationship between epigenetics, especially DNA methylation, and population divergence as well as speciation. However, little is known about how general the phenomenon of epigenetics-wise separation of different populations is, or whether population assignment is, possible based on solely epigenetic marks....
Article
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A key element thought to have changed during domestication is dogs’ propensity to communicate with humans, particularly their inclination to gaze at them. A classic test to measure this is the ‘unsolvable task’, where after repeated successes in obtaining a reward by object-manipulation, the animal is confronted with an unsolvable version of the ta...
Article
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Oxytocin is a key modulator of emotional processing and social cognitive function. In line with this, polymorphisms of genes involved in oxytocin signaling, like the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene, are known to influence social behavior in various species. However, to date, no study has investigated environmental factors possibly influencing the epi...
Article
Full-text available
Aging of attentiveness affects cognitive functions like perception and working memory, which can seriously impact communication between dogs and humans, potentially hindering training and cooperation. Previous studies have revealed that aged laboratory beagles and pet Border collies show a decline in selective attention. However, much less is known...
Article
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Background: Wolves have been shown to be better in independent problem-solving tasks than dogs, however it is unclear whether cognitive or motivational factors underlie such differences. In a number of species problem solving has been linked to both persistence in exploration and neophobia, suggesting both these aspects may underlie dog-wolf differ...
Article
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Both human and nonhuman primates use imperative pointing to request a desired object from another individual. Gaze alternation often accompanies such pointing gestures, and in species that have no hands this can in itself function as imperative pointing. Dogs have exceptional skills in communicating with humans. The early development of these skill...
Article
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The bond dogs develop with their owner received increased attention in the last years but no study aimed at characterizing the way in which owners interact with their dogs in their daily life and how this might influence dog behavior. In order to examine how dog owners interact with their dogs, we first analyzed the behavior of 220 dog owners in 8...