Special Issue "Learning Theory Applied to the Welfare of Animals"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2021).
Interests: zoo welfare; behavioral enrichment; animal-visitor interactions; husbandry training; behavior analysis; learning theory; applied ethology
The modern field of Applied Animal Behavior has brought about two major advances in the behavioral welfare of animals: (1) The use of environmental/behavioral enrichment, and (2) the implementation of voluntary training procedures to improve human-animal interactions. Both these practices have their roots in behavior analysis and learning theory. However, few studies have examined the learning effects observed in the application of these practices. For instance, most implementations of operant conditioning to the training of animals is done without measurement of the learning process. Likewise, the effects of enrichment, while originally proposed as a form of behavioral engineering to modify learned behavior, is almost exclusively measured in terms of its pre- vs. post-enrichment effect. Both modern advances thus miss a significant result of their implementation: How behavior is shaped by these environmental manipulations.
The following special issue looks to address how learning theory has been applied and measured to address the welfare of animals. Original manuscripts that examine any aspect of how learning theory has been applied to improve the lives of animals, from studies of behavioral training procedures to the modification of behavior as a result of some environmental change, are welcome submissions. Specific interest will be given to papers that use within-subject methodology to measure changes in behavior over time, as well as papers that address how behavior analysis has served the welfare of animals and can better contribute to the field.
Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez
Ms. Sabrina Brando
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- animal welfare
- husbandry training
- behavioral enrichment
- learning theory
- behavior analysis
- applied behavior analysis with animals
- within-subject methodology
- behavior change