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From Science to Practice: A Review of Laterality Research on Ungulate Livestock

Institute of Behavioural Physiology, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2, D-18196 Dummerstorf, Germany
Symmetry 2019, 11(9), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11091157
Received: 28 July 2019 / Revised: 4 September 2019 / Accepted: 6 September 2019 / Published: 11 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Brain Functional Lateralization in Animals)
In functional laterality research, most ungulate livestock species have until recently been mainly overlooked. However, there are many scientific and practical benefits of studying laterality in ungulate livestock. As social, precocial and domestic species, they may offer insight into the mechanisms involved in the ontogeny and phylogeny of functional laterality and help to better understand the role of laterality in animal welfare. Until now, most studies on ungulate livestock have focused on motor laterality, but interest in other lateralized functions, e.g., cognition and emotions, is growing. Increasingly more studies are also focused on associations with age, sex, personality, health, stress, production and performance. Although the full potential of research on laterality in ungulate livestock is not yet exploited, findings have already shed new light on central issues in cognitive and emotional processing and laid the basis for potentially useful applications in future practice, e.g., stress reduction during human-animal interactions and improved assessments of health, production and welfare. Future research would benefit from further integration of basic laterality methodology (e.g., testing for individual preferences) and applied ethological approaches (e.g., established emotionality tests), which would not only improve our understanding of functional laterality but also benefit the assessment of animal welfare. View Full-Text
Keywords: hemispheric asymmetries; farm animals; emotional processing; animal cognition; development; human-animal interactions; animal welfare hemispheric asymmetries; farm animals; emotional processing; animal cognition; development; human-animal interactions; animal welfare
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Leliveld, L.M.C. From Science to Practice: A Review of Laterality Research on Ungulate Livestock. Symmetry 2019, 11, 1157.

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