Researchers Reveal Horses’ Ability to Identify Human Expressions

Researchers Reveal Horses’ Ability to Identify Human Expressions

Psychologists at Sussex University carried out a research on the horses capabilities to understand emotions. The outcome revealed that horses very much possess the ability to differentiate between the positive and negative expressions displayed by humans. The equine specie is extremely well versed with reading human facial expressions. Last year the researchers gathered a list of facial expressions, which are likely to explain horse’s emotions. This time they simply turned the experiment on horse’s head.

Horses were presented with life-size, color pictures of the same human, displaying various emotions. The emotions were either of smiling or baring teeth in anger. These pictures were shown to28 horses gathered from five riding or livery stables located in Sussex and Surrey. When shown angry pictures, horses turned away their head and looked at the picture from his left or sinister side. In addition, a rise in the heart rate of the horses was also experienced.

The reason behind the response was that the right part of the brain records and analyses the data from the left eye. This part of the brain is responsible for handling intimidating or threatening stimuli. This study has taken the progress in terms of horses’ research to a new level, after it had already been known that horses are capable of giving intricate facial expressions to display their frame of mind.

The outcome of this study has generated curiosity regarding the nature of recognition of emotional expression by horses. This includes how its development is affected by the comparative roles played by learning and instinctive abilities.

“Horses may have adopted an ancestral ability for reading emotional cues in other horses to respond appropriately to human facial expressions during their co-evolution. Alternatively, individual horses may have learned to interpret human expressions during their own lifetime,” said Karen McComb, the head of the research group and co-lead author of the study.

User login

You May Have Missed...

BMI Revealed To Be Ineffective Health Index
Wed, 02/10/2016 - 12:10

Body mass index (BMI) of an individual is determined by height and weight. It is an index of body fat and general health. However, a study has...

Nigeria Update

Fresh Polio Cases lead to WHO Travel Restrictions on Pakistan and Syria
Tue, 05/06/2014 - 00:45

World Health Organization has slapped international travel restrictions on Pakistan, Cameroon...

Economy Watch

US Import Prices decline in April
Thu, 05/14/2015 - 01:13

For a straight 10th month, US import prices declined in April. The decline could be due to the...

REM Google reports rise in Advertising Revenues

Health Tonight

Consuming potatoes during pregnancy might be linked to diabetes
Thu, 01/14/2016 - 03:11

According to a new study, women who eat potatoes during pregnancy are at an increased risk of...

Science Tonight

Scientists create a new state of hydrogen
Scientists create a new state of hydrogen
Sat, 01/09/2016 - 11:21

Scientists have come up with a new state of hydrogen. Researchers have revealed what is probably...

UK News

UK junior doctors conclude first strike
Thu, 01/14/2016 - 03:04

The junior doctors in the United Kingdom have concluded their first industrial action that went...


Sat, 01/17/2015 - 06:04

Aetna inc., health care company, on Friday announced that it has signed a deal with Gilead...

US News

Intel surpassed its ‘workforce diversity’ goal set for 2015
Fri, 02/05/2016 - 08:27

Chip giant Intel released its 2015 Annual Diversity Report this week, revealing that the '...

Technology Tonight

Researchers determine 3.57 “degrees of separation” between any two people in the
Mon, 02/08/2016 - 10:51

In a recently released report, researchers at Facebook and the University of Milan have upended...