Marek Špinka

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In this review, we present a new conceptual framework for the study of play behavior, a hitherto puzzling array of seemingly purposeless and unrelated behavioral elements that are recognizable as play throughout the mammalian lineage. Our major new functional hypothesis is that play enables animals to develop flexible kinematic and emotional responses to(More)
It has been suggested that fluctuating asymmetry (FA) reflects an animal's ability to cope with the sum of challenges during its growing period and, thus, is a potential welfare indicator. In this review we investigate the evidence of associations between FA and other welfare indicators measured at the level of the individual and of effects of(More)
In 2012, the World Organisation for Animal Health adopted 10 'General Principles for the Welfare of Animals in Livestock Production Systems' to guide the development of animal welfare standards. The General Principles draw on half a century of scientific research relevant to animal welfare: (1) how genetic selection affects animal health, behaviour and(More)
The vocal expression of emotion is likely driven by shared physiological principles among species. However, which acoustic features promote decoding of emotional state and how the decoding is affected by their listener's psychology remain poorly understood. Here we tested how acoustic features of piglet vocalizations interact with psychological profiles of(More)
0003-3472 2013 The Authors. Published on behalf Dominance hierarchies in groups of social animals can be based either on asymmetries that are important for agonistic interactions (such as body mass) or on more ‘conventional’ cues (such as age), which are respected despite having little relationship to the(More)
Humans as well as many animal species reveal their emotional state in their voice. Vocal features show strikingly similar correlation patterns with emotional states across mammalian species, suggesting that the vocal expression of emotion follows highly conserved signalling rules. To fully understand the principles of emotional signalling in mammals it is,(More)
We analysed video-sequences of undisturbed parental provisioning behaviour on 12 nests of common redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus). In 4 of the 12 nests, chicks were fed by a single parent only. We compared provisioning rate of chicks, time spent on the nest and food allocation rules between nests with uniparental and biparental care and between male and(More)
The effect of the pre-weaning housing system on play behaviour before weaning and agonistic behaviour after weaning and during the fattening period was investigated in 32 litters of domestic pigs. Three preweaning housing systems were compared: poor crate (standard farrowing crate without straw), enriched crate (crate with straw, 20% larger), and, as a(More)
It has been established that sows up- or down-regulate their milk production as the frequency of nursings is changed. The amount of udder massage by piglets might also influence milk production. To investigate whether these effects are associated with changes in prolactin or insulin levels, we enforced five sows each to nurse either every 35 min (MIN35) or(More)