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Abstract

Human–dog interaction relies to a large extent on nonverbal communication, and it is therefore plausible that human sensitivity to nonverbal signals affects interactions between human and dog. Experience with dogs is also likely to influence human–dog interactions, and it has been suggested that it influences human social skills. The present study investigated possible links between human nonverbal sensitivity, experience with dogs, and the quality of human–dog interactions. Two studies are reported. In study 1, 97 veterinary students took a psychometric test assessing human nonverbal sensitivity and answered a questionnaire on their experience with dogs. The data obtained were then used to investigate the relationship between experience with dogs and sensitivity to human nonverbal communication. The results did not indicate that experience with dogs improves human nonverbal sensitivity. In study 2, 16 students with high, and 15 students with low, levels of human nonverbal sensitivity were selected. Each of the 31 students interacted once with an unknown dog in a greeting situation, and these human–dog interactions were videoed. We found that a combined score of dog behaviors relating to insecurity was associated with the students' level of nonverbal sensitivity and experience with dogs: the dog showed more of the insecure behavior when interacting with students with a low level of nonverbal sensitivity and no experience with dogs than it did when interacting with students with a high level of nonverbal sensitivity (irrespective of experience with dogs).

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... Compared to participants volunteering more than once a week, those volunteering only once every week verbally attracted the attention of dogs less often, probably because they had a weaker bond with the dogs. Compared with participants with 6-12 months of volunteering experience, those with 1-2 years of experience walked dogs that shook their bodies less, a sign of stress (72,73). This is perhaps because those with longer volunteering experience had a better knowledge of correctly interacting with dogs. ...
... Similarly, volunteers currently living with dogs were less likely to talk to shelter dogs using a high-pitched voice and the dogs pulled less. People may be less excited meeting new dogs if they have experience of dog ownership and may be more experienced in controlling dogs when they are on the leash (24,73). However, volunteers who worked with dogs regularly were more talkative when walking shelter dogs. ...
... A possible explanation may be that these people were more dog oriented, being more extraverted, socially bold and talkative (77,78). Finally, volunteers with a child or children at home were more likely to interact with dogs using body language, including hand gestures and physical contact, potentially because these volunteers were more sensitive to the needs of dogs, as if they were their children (73,79). Also, they might be more aware of effective ways of communicating with dogs (similar to children with impaired verbal communication) and adapt their behaviours accordingly by using more physically directiveness (80). ...
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Different people relate to dogs in different ways. We investigated differences between volunteers in their behavioural interactions with shelter dogs when they were walked on a leash. Cameras were used to record and quantify the behaviour of volunteers and a leash tension metre was used to measure pulling by both volunteers and shelter dogs. Effects of volunteers' age, body height, educational level, marital status, and experiences of living and working with dogs, and living with children, were examined. Older volunteers talked to the dogs more often during the walk than younger ones. Taller volunteers had reduced physical contact with dogs, and dogs pulled more frequently on the leash while walking with them. Volunteers with a postgraduate degree more frequently praised dogs and rewarded dogs with food and used more body language in the form of hand gestures and physical contact. Married and partnered volunteers more often praised dogs, while separated/divorced or widowed volunteers initiated more frequent physical contacts. Dogs pulled less when walking with volunteers who had experience of living with dogs, and these volunteers interacted with dogs using fewer verbal and body languages. Finally, those living with children more frequently communicated with dogs using body language (e.g., hand gestures and physical contact). We conclude that shelters should carefully consider volunteers' demographics when selecting them to walk dogs with various behavioural characteristics.
... Dogs will however, be dogs, and they will be social, greet each other, and may exhibit subordinate behaviour (Faragó, Townsend, & Range, 2014). Both dogs should respond and are likely to act subordinate when I strongly vocalize, stand up, or begin to train them using the rewards of operant conditioning (Meyer & Forkman, 2014). My data collection goal was to observe the dog-dog interactions (see Figure 3). ...
... Greeting behaviour for dogs is a natural behaviour (Firnkes, Bartels, Bidoli, & Erhard, 2017), and it is an important part of dog socialization with humans (Meyer & Forkman, 2014). As a member of my pack, Charlie never fails to greet me at the door, regardless of the consequences. ...
... I was aware that Charlie is usually happy to see me, and would likely be happy after the above three-hour car ride. However, there are nuances to greeting behaviour such as eye contact (Prato-Previde, & Marshall-Pescini, 2014), jumping (Řezáč, Koru, Havlíček, & Pospíšilová, 2017), and lip licking (Meyer, & Forkman, 2014) that I did not consider when watching Charlie greet me. As preparation for the data collection section of this project, I decided to select behaviours that I was able to quickly observe while recording two days of greetings with Charlie. ...
Article
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Dear Data" is a graduate research project that involved collecting ethnographic and ethological data that produced some unexpected tensions. Initially, I was uncertain how I could represent the data using art. However, through trial and error, along with collaborations with my project partner, I achieved my goal of representing the data using artistic realism. An unforeseen aspect of the collaboration was the social facilitation of the writing and artistic representations of the results. Our collaboration also clarified how I was projecting my data story to her and other readers, enriching my appreciation of the importance of data representation. I noted that my interpretation of project data sets, such as my Twitter usage or observed dog behaviour, demonstrated my tendency towards reductionism. Metacognitive analyses led to the resolution that I should concentrate on the whole of a phenomenon versus a reductionist focus on minute components. The project concluded with a final data collection that required reflexivity, a process completely foreign to a fish physiology researcher, further demonstrating the educational and developmental value of the "Dear Data" project for an emerging social science researcher. The Morning Watch: Educational and Social Analysis https://journals.library.mun.ca/ojs/index.php/mwatch/article/view/1984/1587
... The CANINE system enables the automatic capture of dog visual attention and provides quantitative causal analysis. CANINE can potentially be used to support various research topics, including human-dog interaction [23,36], dog cognition [5], dog-computer interaction [31], and more. Based on multiround interviews with pet owners and researchers, we selected three representative scenarios corresponding to the aforementioned research topics for our field trials: ...
Article
Our goals are to better understand dog cognition, and to support others who share this interest. Existing investigation methods predominantly rely on human-manipulated experiments to examine dogs' behavioral responses to visual stimuli such as human gestures. As a result, existing experimental paradigms are usually constrained to in-lab environments and may not reveal the dog's responses to real-world visual scenes. Moreover, visual signals pertaining to dog behavioral responses are empirically derived from observational evidence, which can be prone to subjective bias and may lead to controversies. We aim to overcome or reduce the existing limitations of dog cognition studies by investigating a challenging issue: identifying the visual signal(s) from dog eye motion that can be utilized to infer causal explanations of its behaviors, namely estimating causal attention. To this end, we design a deep learning framework named Causal AtteNtIon NEtwork (CANINE) to unveil the dogs' causal attention mechanism, inspired by the recent advance in causality analysis with deep learning. Equipped with CANINE, we developed the first eyewear device to enable inference on the vision-related behavioral causality of canine wearers. We demonstrate the technical feasibility of the proposed CANINE glasses through their application in multiple representative experimental scenarios of dog cognitive study. Various in-field trials are also performed to demonstrate the generality of the CANINE eyewear in real-world scenarios. With the proposed CANINE glasses, we collect the first large-scale dataset, named DogsView, which consists of automatically generated annotations on the canine wearer's causal attention across a wide range of representative scenarios. The DogsView dataset is available online to facilitate research.
... In terms of the relationship between dog and handler [11,16,77], based on our results, the handler was reported to be the owner of the dog in very few studies [55,70,76], while most of the remaining studies did not specify whether the handler was also the owner of the dog. This is a very important aspect, as the relational dimension is essential for an effective intervention [16,[77][78][79]. ...
Article
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Dogs are considered the most important species involved in animal-assisted therapy (AAT), and the scientific literature focuses on the benefits linked to the involvement of dogs in various therapeutic areas. In this study, we carried out a systematic review according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, exploring the scientific literature from the last 5 years (2016-2021) on three databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science) to highlight the characteristics of the dogs involved in AATs. Based on the scientific literature relevant to such dogs, we considered different parameters (i.e., number, age, sex, breed, temperament, methods of choice and training, health status, research goals, and activities with dogs) to include studies in our paper. After screening 4331 papers identified on the searched databases, we selected 38 articles that met the inclusion criteria. Analysis of the included articles showed that the characteristics of the dogs were neglected. Our findings indicated a lack of information about the dogs, as well as the absence of standardized and univocal criteria for dog selection, training programs, and health protocols.
... Indeed, since animals seem more straightforward in their emotional displays, children find it easier to read them and are more prone to develop confidence in them as a result [8,26]. Over the course of their history of coevolution with humans, dogs have developed highly sophisticated communicative skills which allow them to tune into human emotional states [27] by reading the non-verbal language, proxemics, and behaviors of the human being [28,29]. Through contact with dogs, people involved in the intervention are able to reflect on themselves thanks to a visual contact, which reinforces the intimacy and results in the development of a communicative code of gestures and sounds that are primarily based on non-verbal language [30]. ...
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Emotion comprehension (EC) is a crucial competence for children, as it determines the quality of peer interactions. This study assessed the efficacy of an animal-assisted education (AAE) intervention with dogs based on the Federico II Model of Healthcare Zooanthropology (FMHZ) to promote EC in a group of primary school children. One hundred and four children (48 females) aged 6–7 years took part in the study, of whom 63 participated in the AAE intervention (i.e., experimental group) and 41 did not (i.e., control group). The intervention was deployed in a school setting through a group format and consisted of five bimonthly sessions. EC was assessed pre- and post-intervention, and at a 3-month follow-up. Student’s t-test and mixed-model ANOVA were performed to analyze the effect of the intervention on EC. EC significantly improved in children of the experimental group compared to the control group. Significant time effects from pre- to post-intervention, post-intervention to follow-up, and pre-intervention to follow-up assessment were found in the experimental group only. AAE based on FMHZ was effective in improving EC in children.
... Dogs increased maximal leash tension and kept their tails high more often when walking with extravert volunteers, potentially because dogs were aroused by the excited human praise and high-pitched voice, and were more engaged in the interaction with volunteers (McGowan et al., 2018). However, dogs might be mildly tense and anxious at the same time by more frequently shaking their bodies (Harper, 2011;Meyer and Forkman, 2014). ...
Article
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Human personality influences the way people interact with dogs. This study investigated the associations between the personality of animal shelter volunteers and behavior during on-leash walks with shelter dogs. Video recording and a canine leash tension meter were used to monitor the on-leash walking. Personality was measured in five dimensions (neurotic, extroverted, open, agreeable and conscientious) with the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). Neurotic volunteers pulled the leash harder and tended to interact with dogs using more body language; dogs being walked by neurotic volunteers in turn displayed more lip-licking and body shaking and were more likely to be rated as well-behaved. Extroverted volunteers were associated with stronger maximal leash tension at both the human and dog ends of the leash, and they praised the dog more, often in a high pitched voice. These volunteers eliciting more tail-wagging and body shaking by the dog. Extroverted volunteers were also more tolerant of different dog behaviors. Volunteers with personalities characterized by “openness to experiences” were less likely to verbally attract the attention of dogs, praise dogs and talk to them in a high-pitched voice; however, dogs walked by these volunteers were more likely to pull on the leash, and engaged in more lip-licking but less sniffing. “Agreeable” volunteers liked to verbally attract the attention of the dogs and more commonly initiated hand gestures and physical contact, causing the dogs to pull less frequently; dogs in these dyads displayed more gazing and lip-licking behaviors. Conscientious volunteers were less likely to pull the leash and tended to have more physical contact with the dogs but did not favor verbal communication and did not use a high pitched voice.
... They are keen observers of human reactions through their exceptional ability to read signs of will and emotion from human faces [38]. In addition, dogs can read the non-verbal language of humans [39][40][41], probably deriving from the history of coevolution with human beings, the ethogram, and the breed [5]. ...
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This study was conducted to evaluate the presence of Campylobacter (C.) jejuni and C. coli in dogs at five dog training centers in Southern Italy. A total of 550 animals were sampled by collecting rectal swabs. The samples were processed to detect thermotolerant Campylobacter spp. by culture and molecular methods. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 135/550 (24.5–95% confidence interval) dogs. A total of 84 C. jejuni (62.2%) and 51 C. coli (37.8%) isolates were identified using conventional PCR. The dog data (age, sex, breed, and eating habits) were examined by two statistical analyses using the C. jejuni and C. coli status (positive or negative) as dependent variables. Dogs fed home-cooked food showed a higher risk of being positive for C. jejuni than dogs fed dry or canned meat for dogs (50.0%; p < 0.01). Moreover, purebred dogs had a significantly higher risk than crossbred dogs for C. coli positivity (16.4%; p < 0.01). This is the first study on the prevalence of C. jejuni and C. coli in dogs frequenting dog training centers for animal-assisted therapies (AATs). Our findings emphasize the potential zoonotic risk for patients and users involved in AATs settings and highlight the need to carry out ad hoc health checks and to pay attention to the choice of the dog, as well as eating habits, in order to minimize the risk of infection.
... The video showcased a single adult observer seated in a mid-sized room among a small number of dogs, with the dogs interacting with the observer and each other in a playful, good-natured manner. Considering the importance of touch and eye contact as it comes to positive physiological responses in the human-dog dyad and human-dog bonding (Hosey & Melfi, 2014;Kaminski et al., 2019;Marshall-Pescini et al., 2017;Nagasawa et al., 2015;Téglás et al., 2012;Waller et al., 2013;Meyer & Forkman, 2014;Kuhne et al., 2012b;Feuerbacher & Wynne, 2015;Kuhne et al., 2012a;Kekecs et al., 2016;McCune et al., 2014), we deliberatively put an emphasis on capturing close-proximity human-animal interactions such as petting, eye contact, and playing. Figure 1 presents a typical scene from the video that we recorded. ...
Article
Head-mounted virtual-reality headsets and virtual-reality content have experienced large technological advances and rapid proliferation over the last years. These immersive technologies bear great potential for the facilitation of the study of human decision-making and behavior in safe, perceptually realistic virtual environments. Best practices and guidelines for the effective and efficient use of 360-degree video in experimental research is also evolving. In this paper, we summarize our research group's experiences with a sizable experimental case study on virtual-reality technology, 360-degree video, pet animals, and human participants. Specifically, we discuss the institutional, methodological, and technological challenges encountered during the implementation of our 18-month-long research project on human emotional response to short-duration 360-degree videos of human-pet interactions. Our objective in this paper is to contribute to the growing body of research on 360-degree video and to lower barriers related to the conceptualization and practice of research at the intersection of virtual-reality experiences, 360-degree video, live animals, and human behavior. Practical suggestions for human-subject researchers interested in utilizing virtual-reality technology, 360-degree videos, and pet animals as a part of their research are discussed.
... Dogs, on the other hand, are one of the main species involved and studied in AAIs [30,31,49] as they have an important competence-the ability to read the non-verbal language of the human being [50][51][52]. Dogs have developed a particular preference for humans, and the ability to recognize conspecifics seems to have played an important role in their genetic changes [53]. From the literature consulted [54][55][56][57][58][59][60], it emerges that the dog understands the difference between the owner and other people. ...
Article
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Background: Animal-assisted intervention (AAIs) represent an adequate expression of integrated medicine, according to the One Health approach. We argue that AAIs are interventions based on interspecific relationships between humans and animals. Although there are many studies on the effects of AAIs on animal and human health and wellbeing, research is still needed to give us more data. For example, information is still lacking on the aspects characterizing and influencing the interspecific relationships occurring in AAIs. The efficacy of an intervention based on interspecific relationships will be influenced by different factors, such as attachment styles and personalities of both the animal and the handler, an appropriate choice of animal species and their individuality, animal educational training techniques, the relationship between the handler and the animal, and relational reciprocity between animal, the patients, and members of the working team. Method: This article aims to contribute to the study of interspecific relationships in AAIs via theoretical considerations. An interspecific relationship determines the result of safe interventions, which directly influences the welfare of the animal. Results and considerations: AAIs should be evaluated systemically as a network within a process in which every component interacts with and influences other components. Standardized methods using appropriate tests and parameters are needed to better select appropriate animals (i.e., species and individual subjects) using interspecific relational competences as well as appropriate educational training methods and health protocols to assess potential risks.
... Several studies have found that people with companion animals may develop a greater sense of empathy for others (McCardle, McCune, Griffin, & Maholmes, 2011;Julius, Beetz, Kotrschal, Turner, & Uvnäs-Moberg, 2013;O'Haire et al., 2014). Some studies have also found that human-animal interactions increase trust and trustworthiness, and reduce aggression and violent behaviors ( Julius et al., 2013;Meyer & Forkman, 2014). ...
Article
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Despite a growing number of studies on human–animal interactions, empirical data focusing on companion animals within the context of health-promoting work-life are still limited. This article presents an analysis and discussion based on the perceptions of 22 students and staff from the University of Gävle in Sweden on the potential of companion animals for supportive functions in health-promoting work-life, as well as on the possible challenges of having companion animals on the premises of the University. Based on the findings, this article proposes that companion animals can indeed play vital supportive functions in health-promoting work-life, which are presented in the text as “forcing function,” “communication companion,” and “social skills.” However, this article also highlights the socio-economic, legal, and organizational challenges that need to be carefully considered and worked out for having companion animals in the workplace, such as in a university.
... However, it appears that people may take a much bolder path under the assumption that the interaction they are seeking is welcomed by the dog. Or, in other words, to proceed with caution when you approach the dog, making single movements (e.g. one footstep at a time) followed by a pause to receive the dog's signal that's been elicited by that movement, then proceeding with or aborting your ultimate goal of approaching the animal based on that signal you received and whether it communicated "stop" or "continue"/neutral response (Hart, Hart, & Bergin, 1987;Beaver, 1999;Beerda, Schilder, van Hooff, de Vries, & Mol, 1999;Shepherd, 2002;Hines, 2003;Meyer & Forkman, 2014;Udell & Brubaker, 2016). This mistake could produce disastrous and irretrievable consequences for one or both parties. ...
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The present project "Dog-Human Interspecies Communication" is the researcher's second experiment of hypotheses based heavily on the work of Tami and Gallagher (2009), "Description of the behaviour of domestic dog (Canis familiaris) by experienced and inexperienced people". This piece covers the first part of the connections between the the two projects and what conclusions can be drawn from them. Particularly their results regarding: relating the terminology used in each study; the participant comprehension of domestic dog behaviors of ambivalent signals, friendliness, submission, and fear & approachability results; the idea of complex signals; and suggestions of conclusions that can be drawn from reviewing the two studies and their findings. A link for PART ONE is available at the end of the document.
... Highly experienced dog trainers can also judge the fear of dogs from whole-body videos more accurately than lay people or even dog owners [26]. Recent studies also suggest that a combination of dog expertise, empathy and general sensitivity for nonverbal behaviour may affect human interpretation of dog behaviour [49,75]. ...
Article
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Facial expressions are important for humans in communicating emotions to the conspecifics and enhancing interpersonal understanding. Many muscles producing facial expressions in humans are also found in domestic dogs, but little is known about how humans perceive dog facial expressions, and which psychological factors influence people’s perceptions. Here, we asked 34 observers to rate the valence, arousal, and the six basic emotions (happiness, sadness, surprise, disgust, fear, and anger/aggressiveness) from images of human and dog faces with Pleasant, Neutral and Threatening expressions. We investigated how the subjects’ personality (the Big Five Inventory), empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index) and experience of dog behavior affect the ratings of dog and human faces. Ratings of both species followed similar general patterns: human subjects classified dog facial expressions from pleasant to threatening very similarly to human facial expressions. Subjects with higher emotional empathy evaluated Threatening faces of both species as more negative in valence and higher in anger/aggressiveness. More empathetic subjects also rated the happiness of Pleasant humans but not dogs higher, and they were quicker in their valence judgments of Pleasant human, Threatening human and Threatening dog faces. Experience with dogs correlated positively with ratings of Pleasant and Neutral dog faces. Personality also had a minor effect on the ratings of Pleasant and Neutral faces in both species. The results imply that humans perceive human and dog facial expression in a similar manner, and the perception of both species is influenced by psychological factors of the evaluators. Especially empathy affects both the speed and intensity of rating dogs’ emotional facial expressions.
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This study discusses the efforts of Penta-Helix actors in forming a destination branding strategy at the Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu Geopark tourist destination which is now the Unesco Global Geopark Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu to maintain the assessment from Unesco, one of the validation results is a promotion to increase the number of visitors through communicating the advantages of Geopark Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu which consists of three elements of harmony, namely Biodiversity, Geodiveristy and Culturdiversity. Researchers identify the role of each Penta-Helix actor based on their respective duties, because the helix studied has an important contribution in building the sustainability of the Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu Geopark tourist destination as a Unesco Global Geopark. This research uses a type of qualitative research using a post-postivism paradigm approach and case studies. Data collection techniques used are interviews, observation, literature study and documentation. Penta-helix actors consisting of academics, business owners, communities, government or governing bodies and media. Each helix interacts with each other so as to form a communication to improve the construction of facilities, improve services, carry out promotional activities, play a role in every event and hold training for the local community to become part of the development of the economic and social sector. Keywords: Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu Geopark, Unesco, Destination Branding, and the Role of Penta-Helix.
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Currently, there has been growing attention to animal welfare in animal-assisted interventions (AAI). However, there is a lack of scrutiny regarding what steps to take to ensure animal wellbeing during AAI research. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews, monitors, and approves all research involving animal subjects in order to ensure an animal’s ethical and humane treatment. However, AAI publications rarely report IACUC approval. The purpose of this critical review was to determine the frequency of IACUC approval and to report the descriptions of animal use in AAI research publications. In the 139 articles reviewed, 14 (10%) studies reported attaining IACUC approval; 4/139 (3%) reported an adverse outcome on at least one animal used in the study. The publications inconsistently reported the training or certification and veterinary care of the animals. Lacking IACUC approval in AAI studies indicates that the field underutilizes this method of monitoring animal health and welfare. The IACUC should assess, approve, and monitor research protocols involving animals prior to conducting every study to safeguard AAI animal welfare.
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A relação entre o homem e seu animal de estimação tem sido objeto constante de entusiasmadas discussões na Antrozoologia, na Psicologia e no Direito. O presente artigo busca refletir, com supedâneo em percepções teóricas advindas da literatura jurídica e estudos teóricos e empíricos da antrozoologia, sobre alguns pontos da relação entre humanos e animais de companhia, sobretudo no tocante a cães e gatos de estimação como membros da família multiespécie. Assim, graças ao aperfeiçoamento e a compreensão do vínculo homem-animal, paulatinamente, o Direito vem reconhecendo a influência dos benefícios das novas configurações da família multiespécie para o bem-estar de ambos.
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It is not possible to demonstrate that dogs (Canis familiaris) feel emotions, but the same is true for all other species, including our own. The issue must therefore be approached indirectly, using premises similar to those used with humans. Recent methodological advances in canine research reveal what dogs experience and what they derive from the emotions perceptible in others. Dogs attend to social cues, they respond appropriately to the valence of human and dog facial expressions and vocalizations of emotion, and their limbic reward regions respond to the odor of their caretakers. They behave differently according to the emotional situation, show emotionally driven expectations, have affective disorders, and exhibit some subcomponents of empathy. The canine brain includes a relatively large prefrontal cortex, and like primates, dogs have a brain area specialized for face perception. Dogs have many degrees of emotion, but the full extent of dog emotions remains unknown. Humans are a socially minded species; we readily impute mind and emotion to others, even to vegetables or rocks. Hence the experimental results need to be analyzed carefully, so the emotional lives of dogs are accurately estimated.
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Several factors influence how we interpret the behavior of another individual. In the current study, we investigated the effect of level of animal empathy, as well as the level of experience with dogs, on the interpretation of dog behavior. Forty-seven veterinary students participated in the study. Each student filled out a printed questionnaire on their experiences and skills with dogs, and then completed the Animal Empathy Scale. They were shown five 2-minute videos of dogs, and asked to cross off 19 visual analogue scales after each video clip, assessing 19 adjectives for each of the dogs. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on all of the visual analogue scale scores for each of the five videos. For every PCA, one of the components retained related to aggressiveness. For students with no prior responsibility for a dog, animal empathy score showed significant inverse correlations with the aggressiveness-component for four of the five videos watched by the students (r = –0.38, p = 0.044; r = –0.39, p = 0.039; r = –0.38, p = 0.047; r = –0.51, p = 0.005). Animal empathy did not show any significant correlation with components related to other types of emotion or behavior. There was no effect of any of the self-reported skills with dogs on the interpretation of dog behavior, and having had a dog in the family as a child only had sporadic effects. These results indicate that people with a low level of animal empathy and no prior responsibility for a dog assess dog behavior and emotion related to aggressiveness as more pronounced than people with a high level of animal empathy. The results also point to possible interactions between animal empathy, experience with dogs, and interpretation of dog behavior.
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Despite the popular idea that dog owners are often responsible in some way for their animals' behaviour problems, the scientific evidence is scarce and contradictory. Some studies have failed to detect any links between the quality of the owner-dog relationship and the occurrence of behaviour problems, while others suggest that some behaviour problems may be associated with certain aspects of owner personality, attitudes and/or behaviour.Using retrospective data from a sample of 737 dogs, the present study investigated the association between the prevalence of different behaviour problems and various aspects of either owner behaviour or owner-dog interactions. A number of statistically significant associations were detected: (a) between obedience training and reduced prevalence of competitive aggression (P < 0.02), separation-related problems (P < 0.001), and escaping and roaming (P < 0.05); (b) between the timing of the dogs' meal times and the occurrence of territorial-type aggression (P < 0.01); (c) between sleeping close to the owner and increased prevalence of competitive aggression (P < 0.01) and separation-related problems (P < 0.01); (d) between first-time ownership and the prevalence of dominance-type aggression (P < 0.001), separation-related problems (P < 0.05), fear of loud noises (P < 0.001), and various manifestations of overexcitability (P < 0.001); (e) between owners' initial reasons for acquiring a dog and the prevalence of dominance-type (P < 0.001), competitive (P < 0.01) and territorial aggression (P < 0.01). The possible practical implications of these findings are discussed.
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Many companion dogs occupy a privileged position in our society, living closely with human caretakers who go to great lengths to provide for their needs and desires. Others fare less well, being abandoned or killed, many because they are believed to exhibit behaviour problems. The aim in this study was to investigate the frequency of potentially problematic behaviours experienced by a convenience sample of companion dog owners and to establish if the presence of these behaviours was associated with demographic variables, involvement in dog training activities and participation in other dog-human interactions. Potentially problematic behaviours were reported to occur by the 413 adult participants only infrequently, but fell into five factors; disobedience, unfriendliness/aggression, nervousness, anxiety/destructiveness and excitability. Each of these factors was associated with a number of owner and dog characteristics. Engagement in training activities was predictive of lower scores being obtained for many of the behaviours, as well as increased involvement in shared activities. Some of the behaviours, particularly the perceived friendliness of the dog, were also predictive of involvement in shared activities. This confirms that strategies designed to increase participation in dog training activities and promote canine sociability may have significant benefits for both companion dog owners and their dogs.
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To investigate the role of experience in humans' perception of emotion using canine visual signals, we asked adults with various levels of dog experience to interpret the emotions of dogs displayed in videos. The video stimuli had been pre-categorized by an expert panel of dog behavior professionals as showing examples of happy or fearful dog behavior. In a sample of 2,163 participants, the level of dog experience strongly predicted identification of fearful, but not of happy, emotional examples. The probability of selecting the "fearful" category to describe fearful examples increased with experience and ranged from.30 among those who had never lived with a dog to greater than.70 among dog professionals. In contrast, the probability of selecting the "happy" category to describe happy emotional examples varied little by experience, ranging from.90 to.93. In addition, the number of physical features of the dog that participants reported using for emotional interpretations increased with experience, and in particular, more-experienced respondents were more likely to attend to the ears. Lastly, more-experienced respondents provided lower difficulty and higher accuracy self-ratings than less-experienced respondents when interpreting both happy and fearful emotional examples. The human perception of emotion in other humans has previously been shown to be sensitive to individual differences in social experience, and the results of the current study extend the notion of experience-dependent processes from the intraspecific to the interspecific domain.
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This study examines the effects of sex and familiarity on Americans' talk to dogs during play, using categories derived from research comparing mothers' and fathers' talk to infants. Eight men and fifteen women were videotaped whilst playing with their own dog and with another person's dog, and their utterances were codified for features common to infant-directed talk. Women used the baby talk speech register more than men, and both men and women used this register more when interacting with the unfamiliar dog than with the familiar dog. When playing with the familiar dog, women talked more than men, and their talk was more suggestive of friendliness and having a conversation. When playing with the unfamiliar dog people used more praise, more conversational gambits, a more diverse vocabulary, and longer utterances than when playing with the familiar dog, suggesting that when playing with the unfamiliar dog, people pretended to have more of a conversation, were more attentive to appearing friendly and were less attentive to the dog's limited understanding. Overall, however, men and women used similar forms of talk when interacting with a dog, whether familiar or not.
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Autism strongly affects the ability to establish social interactions. However, there is some suggestion that people with autism establish close social relationships with nonverbal communicating and intentionally acting animals (such as dogs). In this study, 14 children with autism (3 females, 11 males; mean age = 11.4 years) were observed when given the choice to interact with a person, dog (certified therapy dog) or objects (e.g., toys). The children interacted most frequently and for longest with the dog, followed by the person and then the objects. We suggest that animals, specifically dogs, communicate their intentions in a way more readily understandable to people with autism. We also suggest that autism affects predominantly interpersonal interactions.
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Prompted by interesting but ambiguous findings that empathic differences in children may relate to pet preference and ownership, we extended the issue to an adult population. We investigated empathic-type responses in adults who lived with cats and/or dogs in childhood (Child-Pet) and currently (Adult-Pet), using the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), the Empathy Quotient (EQ), and the Animal Attitude Scale (AAS). Multivariate analyses of covariance, with Sex as the covariate (MANCOVA), revealed differences on the AAS, the IRI-Personal Distress scale, and the EQ-Social Skills factor. For the Child-Pet data, the Dog-Only and the Both (dog and cat) groups, compared with those in the Neither (no dog or cat) group, scored lower on the IRI-Personal Distress scale and higher on the EQ-Social Skills factor. On the AAS, all three pet groups (Dog-Only, Cat-Only, and Both) had higher ratings than the Neither group. For Adult-Pet data, the analyses revealed the Dog-Only group was lower on Personal Distress than the Neither group, and higher on Social Skills than the Neither group and the Cat-Only group. On the AAS, the Neither group was lower than all three pet-owning groups, like the childhood data, but strikingly, adults with both dogs and cats were higher on the AAS. The findings support research linking companion animals with empathic development. They warrant the continued exploration of the nature of empathic development (i.e., nature vs. nurture) and contribute to the increasing research field exploring the value of companion animals.
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Seventy-four healthy mixed-breed dogs were studied collecting behavioural data by means of 'focal animal sampling' and 'all occurrences' methods; the ethogram utilised consisted of more than 100 behavioural patterns. All dogs were taken outside the shelter for a walk to analyse their reaction to a novel environment. In addition, three faecal samples were col-lected from each dog on three consecutive days during daily routine, to measure the lev-els of cortisol metabolites (CM) to evaluate adrenocortical activity. A Principal Component Analysis (PCA) identified five primary factors: 'subordination/aggressiveness', 'intraspe-cific dominance-activity', 'anxiety-sociability towards dogs', 'playfulness' and 'sociability towards humans'. Dogs that showed a confident-independent temperament in a familiar con-text (within the shelter), showed fear in novel situations (outside the shelter). Despite the absence of a proper control we hypothesise that the stress levels were low both behaviourally and physiologically: neither stereotypies nor inactivity and lack of interest in the surrounding environment was observed, and the median CM concentration was moderately low. Lower concentrations of faecal CM were recorded in dogs with a temperament 'sociable to human beings' which were also associated with a longer stay in the shelter.
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Anthropomorphism is the use of human characteristics to de-scribe or explain nonhuman animals. In the present paper, we propose a model for a unified study of such anthropomorphizing. We bring together previously disparate accounts of why and how we anthropomorphize and suggest a means to analyze anthropomorphizing behavior itself. We intro-duce an analysis of bouts of dyadic play between humans and a heavily an-thropomorphized animal, the domestic dog. Four distinct patterns of social interaction recur in successful dog–human play: directed responses by one player to the other, indications of intent, mutual behaviors, and contingent activity. These findings serve as a preliminary answer to the question, "What behaviors prompt anthropomorphisms?" An analysis of anthropomorphizing is potentially useful in establishing a scientific basis for this behavior, in ex-plaining its endurance, in the design of "lifelike" robots, and in the analysis of human interaction. Finally, the relevance of this developing scientific area to contemporary debates about anthropomorphizing behavior is discussed. What Causes us to Anthropomorphize? In studies of animal behavior, there is near official consensus about an-thropomorphizing: it is to be avoided. While the term anthropomorphism literally refers to the characterization of nonhuman behavior or inanimate objects in human terms, it has been further appropriated to refer to such characterization specifically when it is erroneous. In particular, an attribution which is not only un-proven, but which is considered unlikely, is an anthropomorphism: the explanation of the cock of a parrot's head as evidence of his puzzlement; the easy assignment by a pet owner of love and desire to her dog. It is taken to be just those charac-teristics we attribute to a subject that the subject does not have (Asquith 1984).
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A theoretical model for affective social competence is described. Affective social competence (ASC) is comprised of three integrated and dynamic components: sending affective messages, receiving affective messages, and experiencing affect. Central and interconnected abilities within each component include awareness and identification of affect, working within a complex and constantly changing social context, and management and regulation. The dynamic integration of the components is emphasized and potential mediating factors are outlined. The model is placed within the context of previous research and theory related to affective social competence; how the model advances future research is also explicated for each component. Research with special populations of children is described to highlight the importance of affective social competence in social relationships and the promise of the ASC model for future research and practice.
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The relationship between physicians' nonverbal sensitivity and the satisfaction of their patients was tested in two field studies. In the first study, 40 physicians were given a film test of nonverbal sensitivity (the PONS test) and were evaluated by their patients. The second study was a replication using 31 additional physicians. Most noteworthy for research in therapeutic interaction, the present studies contained three methodological advances: (1) the use of actual patients' ratings of satisfaction with treatment, (2) the extension of research from psychological to medical settings, and (3) the use of a standardized test of nonverbal decoding skill. Physicians' skill at reading the emotion conveyed through the nonverbal channel of body movement was found to be significantly correlated with their interpersonal success with patients in the clinical setting.
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In this article, we report the development of a new test designed to measure individual differences in emotion recognition ability (ERA), five studies examining the reliability and validity of the scores produced using this test, and the first evidence for a correlation between ERA measured by a standardized test and personality. Utilizing Matsumoto and Ekman's (1988) Japanese and Caucasian Facial Expressions of Emotion (JACFEE) and Neutral Faces (JACNeuF), we call this measure the Japanese and Caucasian Brief Affect Recognition Test (JACBART). The JACBART improves on previous measures of ERA by (1) using expressions that have substantial validity and reliability data associated with them, (2) including posers of two visibly different races (3) balanced across seven universal emotions (4) with equal distribution of poser race and sex across emotions (5) in a format that eliminates afterimages associated with fast exposures. Scores derived using the JACBART are reliable, and three studies demonstrated a correlation between ERA and the personality constructs of Openness and Conscientiousness, while one study reports a correlation with Extraversion and Neuroticism.
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This paper describes the validation of the Interpersonal Perception Task (IPT), a new method for studying the process of social perception. The IPT is a videotape consisting of 30 scenes. Each scene is paired with a multiple-choice question about the interaction depicted in the scene. All scenes contain full-channel sequences of unscripted behavior and employ an objective criterion of accurate judgment. Five common types of social interaction are represented: status, intimacy, kinship, competition, and deception. In the first study the IPT was administered to 438 subjects. Results indicated that subjects performed better than chance for 28 of the 30 scenes and that females performed better than males. A second study investigated the possibility that the people who appear in the IPT display idiosyncratic or unrepresentative behaviors. Three coders performed a scene-by-scene content analysis of the IPT, noting the presence or absence of behaviors which previous researchers have found to be associated with the five areas represented in the IPT. In all but one scene, coders found enough behavioral information to enable correct interpretation. A third study employed a peer nomination procedure to explore the construct validity of the IPT. Subjects obtaining higher scores on the IPT were perceived by their friends as more socially skilled. Finally, in an investigation of the convergent and discriminant validity of the IPT, we found no relationship with a visual acuity task or the Machiavellian scale, a significant positive correlation with the Self-Monitoring Scale, a significant positive correlation with the Social Interpretations Task (SIT), and an even stronger positive correlation with those SIT items which measure the same areas as the IPT. Uses of the IPT to investigate the process and accuracy of interpersonal perception are discussed.
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Play signals are known to function in the solicitation and maintenance of intraspecific play, but their role in interspecific play is relatively unstudied. We carried out two studies to examine interspecific signalling when humans play with domestic dogs, Canis familiaris. In the first, we recorded dog–owner play sessions on video to identify actions used by 21 dog owners to initiate play with their dogs. Thirty-five actions were each used by three or more owners. These included postures, vocalizations and physical contact with the dog. The actions varied greatly in their apparent success at instigating play which was, surprisingly, unrelated to the frequency with which they were used. We then did an experiment to determine the effect of composites of commonly used signals upon the behaviour of 20 Labrador retrievers. The performance of both ‘Bow’ and ‘Lunge’ by a human altered the subsequent behaviour of the dogs. Both signals caused increases in play, and Lunge produced significant increases in play bout frequency and mean bout duration. The efficiency of both these postural signals was enhanced when they were accompanied by play vocalizations. Thus, specific actions used by humans do communicate a playful context to dogs and can be described as interspecific play signals.
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Recent evidence suggests that preverbal infants' gaze following can be triggered only if an actor's head turn is preceded by the expression of communicative intent [1]. Such connectedness between ostensive and referential signals may be uniquely human, enabling infants to effectively respond to referential communication directed to them. In the light of increasing evidence of dogs' social communicative skills [2], an intriguing question is whether dogs' responsiveness to human directional gestures [3] is associated with the situational context in an infant-like manner. Borrowing a method used in infant studies [1], dogs watched video presentations of a human actor turning toward one of two objects, and their eye-gaze patterns were recorded with an eye tracker. Results show a higher tendency of gaze following in dogs when the human's head turning was preceded by the expression of communicative intent (direct gaze, addressing). This is the first evidence to show that (1) eye-tracking techniques can be used for studying dogs' social skills and (2) the exploitation of human gaze cues depends on the communicatively relevant pattern of ostensive and referential signals in dogs. Our findings give further support to the existence of a functionally infant-analog social competence in this species.
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Stress parameters that can be measured noninvasively may help to identify poor welfare in dogs that live in private homes and institutions. Behavioural parameters are potentially useful to identify stress, but require further investigation to establish which behaviours are appropriate. In the present study, behaviours were recorded and analysed for signs of acute stress in dogs. Simultaneously, saliva cortisol and heart rate were measured to support the interpretation of the behavioural data with regard to stress. Ten dogs of either sex, different ages and various breeds were each subjected to six different stimuli: sound blasts, short electric shocks, a falling bag, an opening umbrella and two forms of restraint. Each type of stimulus had been selected for its assumed aversive properties and was administered intermittently for 1 min. The stimuli that could not be anticipated by the dogs, sound blasts, shocks and a falling bag, tended to induce saliva cortisol responses and a very low posture. The remainder of the stimuli, which were administered by the experimenter visibly to the dog, did not change the cortisol levels but did induce restlessness, a moderate lowering of the posture, body shaking, oral behaviours, and to a lesser extent, yawning and open mouth. Pronounced increases in the heart rate were nonspecifically induced by each type of stimulus. Heart rate levels normalized within 8 min after stressor administration had stopped. Saliva cortisol levels decreased to normal within the hour. Correlations between behavioural and physiological stress parameters were not significant. From the present results, we conclude that in dogs a very low posture may indicate intense acute stress since dogs show a very low posture concomitant with saliva cortisol responses. Dogs may typically show increased restlessness, oral behaviours, yawning, open mouth and a moderate lowering of the posture when they experienced moderate stress in a social setting. The nonspecific character of canine heart rate responses complicates its interpretation with regard to acute stress.
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The present research employs a variety of methods to examine social acuity, the ability and inclination to perceive the psychological state of others and act accordingly. Sources of data include three self-report inventories (Self-Monitoring, Attributional Complexity, and Empathy), a direct measure of perceptual performance (the Profile of Nonverbal Sensitivity), and comprehensive Q-sort descriptions of personality provided by subjects peers and by the subjects themselves. The four measures of social acuity were found to be coherently interrelated; Self-Monitoring and Empathy were related to each other particularly closely. Examination of the Q-sort correlates, from both self-reports and peers' judgments, yielded an improved conceptual understanding of social acuity and demonstrated the close relationship between these measure and interpersonal effectiveness. The results are discussed in terms of the construct validity of social acuity and the usefulness of multiple methods and approaches in assessing personality.
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The relationship between physicians' nonverbal communication skills (their ability to communicate and to understand facial expression, body movement and voice tone cues to emotion) and their patients' satisfaction with medical care was examined in 2 studies. The research involved 71 residents in internal medicine and 462 of their ambulatory and hospitalized patients. Standardized, reliable and valid measures of nonverbal communication skills were administered to the physicians. Their scores on these tests were correlated with ratings they received from a sample of their patients on measures of satisfaction with the technical aspects and the socioemotional aspects (or art) of the medical care they received. While the nonverbal communication skills of the physicians bore little relationship to patients' ratings of the technical quality of care, measures of these skills did predict patient satisfaction with the art of medical care received. Across both samples, physicians who were more sensitive to body movement and posture cues to emotion (the channel suggested by nonverbal researchers as the one in which true affect can be perceived) received higher ratings from their patients on the art of care than did less sensitive physicians. In addition, physicians who were successful at expressing emotion through their nonverbal communications tended to receive higher ratings from patients on the art of care than did physicians who were less effective communicators. The implications of successfully identifying characteristics of physicians with whom patients are satisfied are discussed.
Article
The present investigations were undertaken to compare interspecific communicative abilities of dogs and wolves, which were socialized to humans at comparable levels. The first study demonstrated that socialized wolves were able to locate the place of hidden food indicated by the touching and, to some extent, pointing cues provided by the familiar human experimenter, but their performance remained inferior to that of dogs. In the second study, we have found that, after undergoing training to solve a simple manipulation task, dogs that are faced with an insoluble version of the same problem look/gaze at the human, while socialized wolves do not. Based on these observations, we suggest that the key difference between dog and wolf behavior is the dogs' ability to look at the human's face. Since looking behavior has an important function in initializing and maintaining communicative interaction in human communication systems, we suppose that by positive feedback processes (both evolutionary and ontogenetically) the readiness of dogs to look at the human face has lead to complex forms of dog-human communication that cannot be achieved in wolves even after extended socialization.
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Domestic dogs are unusually skilled at reading human social and communicative behavior--even more so than our nearest primate relatives. For example, they use human social and communicative behavior (e.g. a pointing gesture) to find hidden food, and they know what the human can and cannot see in various situations. Recent comparisons between canid species suggest that these unusual social skills have a heritable component and initially evolved during domestication as a result of selection on systems mediating fear and aggression towards humans. Differences in chimpanzee and human temperament suggest that a similar process may have been an important catalyst leading to the evolution of unusual social skills in our own species. The study of convergent evolution provides an exciting opportunity to gain further insights into the evolutionary processes leading to human-like forms of cooperation and communication.
Article
We have explored the validity of urinary cortisol/creatinine ratios (C/C) and behavioural measures as indicators of acute psychological stress in the domestic dog, by monitoring 1 year old male Labrador Retrievers (N=31) prior to and following their introduction to novel kennels in a training establishment. Baseline early morning urine samples were taken in the dogs' original homes and then urine samples and remote recordings of behaviour were taken for ten consecutive days after transfer to the kennels. The impact of this potential stressor was manipulated by previously habituating half of the subjects to confinement in a kennel. We hypothesised that stress levels would increase upon introduction to the training establishment, but that the response would be mitigated by kennel habituation. C/C increased in all dogs when they entered the training establishment, this increase was significantly higher in the non-habituated group, and in this group C/C remained above baseline even 12 weeks after transfer. Despite the homogeneity of the subjects, the behaviour measured showed very little correlation to the C/C ratios, and the changes in behaviour that were observed, such as decreases in whining and time spent at the front of the kennel, could equally be attributed to dogs learning the most effective strategies for gaining human attention in the kennels as to attenuation of stress. We conclude that urinary C/C is a valuable indicator of acute stress and hence welfare status in dogs, but that behavioural measures need to be interpreted with caution due to individuality in coping strategies.
Article
There is a controversy about the mechanisms involved in the interspecific communicative behaviour in domestic dogs. The main question is whether this behaviour is a result of instrumental learning or higher cognitive skills are required. The present investigations were undertaken to study the effect of learning processes upon the gaze towards the human's face as a communicative response. To such purpose, in Study 1, gaze response was subjected to three types of reinforcement schedules: differential reinforcement, reinforcer omission, and extinction in a situation of "asking for food". Results showed a significant increase in gaze duration in the differential reinforcement phase and a significant decrease in both the omission and extinction phases. These changes were quite rapid, since they occurred only after three training trials in each phase. Furthermore, extinction resulted in animal behaviour changes, such as an increase in the distance from the experimenter, the back position and lying behaviour. This is the first systematic evaluation of the behavioural changes caused by reward withdrawal (frustration) in dogs. In Study 2, the gaze response was studied in a situation where dogs walked along with their owners/trainers. These results show that learning plays an important role in this communicative response. The possible implications of these results for service dogs are discussed.
Deception in play between dogs and people
  • R W Mitchell
  • N S Thompson
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