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Emotion in animal contests: examining emotion in animal contests

Crump, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0003-4485-5740, Bethell, Emily J., Earley, Ryan, Lee, Victoria E., Mendl, Michael, Oldham, Lucy, Turner, Simon P. and Arnott, Gareth (2020) Emotion in animal contests: examining emotion in animal contests. Proceedings of the Royal Society: B Biological Sciences, 287 (1939). ISSN 0962-8452

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Identification Number: 10.1098/rspb.2020.1715


Emotions encompass cognitive and behavioural responses to reward and punishment. Using contests as a case-study, we propose that short-term emotions underpin animals' assessments, decision-making and behaviour. Equating contest assessments to emotional ‘appraisals', we describe how contestants appraise more than resource value and outcome probability. These appraisals elicit the cognition, drive and neurophysiology that governs aggressive behaviour. We discuss how recent contest outcomes induce long-term moods, which impact subsequent contest behaviour. Finally, we distinguish between integral (objectively relevant) and incidental (objectively irrelevant) emotions and moods (affective states). Unlike existing ecological models, our approach predicts that incidental events influence contest dynamics, and that contests become incidental influences themselves, potentially causing maladaptive decision-making. As affective states cross contexts, a more holistic ethology (incorporating emotions and moods) would illuminate animal cognition and behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2020 14:24
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 03:14

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