Audience effects on dog facial expressions

23 10 2017

Just as for smiling in humans, alarm calling in chickens and many other signals, having an audience (here, a human rather than a member of their own species) potentiates facial expressions in dogs. This has been revealed in a new paper in Scientific Reports  (nicely covered by the Guardian here).

I’d love to now know if dogs produce different expressions for humans than they do for other dogs, and whether associative learning plays a role (since I’m convinced — not least as cats are so good at tailoring what they do to what pushes our buttons — that Sylvie makes cute faces when she notices me looking at her, which I then totally reinforce with cuddles).  Thanks to Jamie for passing this on!

Screenshot 2017-10-22 21.54.04

Perseverative chatbots

2 08 2017

This is being touted as sinister, but honestly they just sound like perseverative messes to me! Maybe i i i i i i  just miss something.


Buying free time boosts happiness

26 07 2017

Interesting research from UBC was published in PNAS this week (including that people don’t do it much even though it works!).

Screenshot 2017-07-25 22.27.40

Maria spotted some good coverage in the BBC too (because she’s so British now).

A cleverness of ravens

21 07 2017

Screenshot 2017-07-21 08.07.38Nice new work out in Science last week:

Resting rich face

15 07 2017

Interesting new research from UoT published here, and written up for popular consumption here: being comfortably off makes you look happier. Amazing (and sad) that they found effects in people so young.

Biphasic sleep!

12 07 2017

I’m normal! Wish someone had told me this years ago:

Screenshot 2017-07-11 22.41.44

Found while actually looking for this information, heard on the BBC and apparently out in Proc. Roy. Soc. B today:



Cows will work hard to roam on pasture

8 07 2017

Missed this when it came out! Lovely ‘max price paid’ work from Nina & Dan at UBC:

Screenshot 2017-07-08 09.24.42