Horse lovers have been convinced of this for a long time: their darlings have a very good sense of the way they talk. The researchers have now been able to show this in a study.
According to a new study, horses and pigs can interpret the human voice.
“Our results show that animals are affected by the emotions we charge our voices with when we talk to or around them,” said Elodie Briefer, a behavioral biologist at the University of Copenhagen. Porcine and bred horses as well as Asian wild horses can recognize these differences.
In the Study in the journal “BMC Biology” Scientists from Zurich and Berlin also participated. In their study, the researchers played recordings of animal and human voices from hidden speakers. To prevent the test animals from interacting with certain words, the human recordings came from a professional speaker reading a kind of chatter without meaningful sentences.
The result? Animals reacted more strongly – usually faster – to the negative sound than to a positively charged sound. “In certain situations, they seem to reflect the feelings they are experiencing,” Beaver explained.
The animals’ reactions indicated that the way people and those around them spoke had an impact on their well-being. “This means that our voices have a direct impact on the emotional state of animals, which is very interesting from an animal welfare perspective,” the statement stated. If the animals are treated with a friendly voice, they will become calmer and more relaxed. (dpa)
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