Affect-modulated startle in hens!

20 08 2019

Misha’s first hen paper came out this week! In this work we assessed whether improved welfare would reduce chickens’ startle magnitudes (check: the first evidence for affective modulation of this reflex in birds!), and also make their judgment biases more optimistic (kind of … but only if you squint and look at a subset of birds). We then looked to see whether these two forms of stimulus appraisal covary (nope).

It’s lovely, lovely work, produced after a painfully long parturition (tough – if not unreasonable – stats requests from our referees, who also showed alarming convictions that any test you label ‘judgment bias’ is automatically a window into an animal’s very soul).

Screenshot 2019-08-20 17.05.06