Visual discrimination learning and spatial acuity in sheep

Sugnaseelan, Sumita, Prescott, Neville B., Broom, Donald M., Wathes, Christopher M. and Phillips, Clive J. C. (2013) Visual discrimination learning and spatial acuity in sheep. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147 1-2: 104-111. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2013.04.012

Author Sugnaseelan, Sumita
Prescott, Neville B.
Broom, Donald M.
Wathes, Christopher M.
Phillips, Clive J. C.
Title Visual discrimination learning and spatial acuity in sheep
Journal name Applied Animal Behaviour Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0168-1591
Publication date 2013-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.04.012
Open Access Status
Volume 147
Issue 1-2
Start page 104
End page 111
Total pages 8
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Visual acuity is an important component of environmental recognition in sheep, yet knowledge about it is limited in this or other herbivorous species. We tested the ability of British Friesland × Texel female lambs to discriminate black and white square-wave gratings, presented vertically or horizontally, from a grey stimulus. Animal and environmental conditions were optimised for detection of visual acuity. Sheep could rapidly learn to discriminate some gratings from a grey stimulus. There was no difference in the ability of sheep to discriminate vertical or horizontal stimuli from a grey stimulus. Visual acuity, determined at between 11.7 and 14.0. cycles/degree, was greater than that previously predicted from anatomical measurements (7-10 cycles/degree), and considerably greater than that measured for sheep by the Landoldt C ring technique (2.6-5.7 cycles/degree). It was also greater than that measured previously in most research using ungulates and other herbivores, with a variety of techniques. It is concluded that sheep visual acuity is potentially greater than hitherto realised, but that standardisation of techniques is required to make accurate comparisons with data gathered previously. Additionally, the ability to gauge an animal's awareness and its response(s) to various visual optotypes in its macro-environment will enable us to design livestock housing, handling and transport facilities that promote animal welfare.
Keyword Discrimination learning
Square-wave gratings
Visual acuity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 6 June 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Veterinary Science Publications
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Created: Mon, 03 Mar 2014, 15:29:14 EST by Annette Winter on behalf of School of Veterinary Science