Alterisio, Alessandra (2018) The evolution of human-dog communication mechanisms during the domestication process. [Tesi di dottorato]


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Item Type: Tesi di dottorato
Lingua: English
Title: The evolution of human-dog communication mechanisms during the domestication process
Date: 5 December 2018
Number of Pages: 180
Institution: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Department: Biologia
Dottorato: Biologia
Ciclo di dottorato: 31
Coordinatore del Corso di dottorato:
D'Aniello, BiagioUNSPECIFIED
Date: 5 December 2018
Number of Pages: 180
Uncontrolled Keywords: dog-human relationship, human-dog communication, pointing, contrasting paradigm, interspecies emotional transfer, sex differences, ontogeny, domestication
Settori scientifico-disciplinari del MIUR: Area 05 - Scienze biologiche > BIO/05 - Zoologia
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2019 14:19
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 08:42


Two theory tried to explain the divergences between the dogs and their ancestral progenitors: the “Domestication hypothesis”, which claims that the origin of most of the dog's behaviors is linked to the genetic processes involved in the domestication, and the “Two-stage hypothesis”, which emphasizes the role of behaviors acquired through individual experiences. This research project has had the purpose of examining the ontogenetic mechanisms that underlie dog-human relationship and communication in the most ancient domestic species. The first aim was to assess if the water rescue training affects the human-dog attachment bond using an adapted version of the “Strange Situation Test”. The second aim was to clarify if following human gestures could be influenced by living in a low socialization regime. The third aim was to evaluate how much the dogs weigh the information given by human (familiar and unfamiliar) posture and voice when they were asked to perform transitive and intransitive actions, and how much this was related to the domestication process. The fourth aim was that of assess whether emotional chemosignals contained in human sweat could affect dogs’ physiology and behavior. Finally, an overview on dog’s sex differences in personality traits as well as cognitive and perceptual processes have been made to explore whether such dissimilarities were affected by the domestication process or the sex-specific differences existing in wild animals have been maintained. All the results presented in this doctoral dissertation converge in emphasising the heavy role of the ontogenetic processes in acquiring socio-cognitive skills, cognitive processes and perception in dogs.


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