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Evidence of heterospecific referential communication from domestic horses (Equus caballus) to humans

Overview of attention for article published in Animal Cognition, April 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (91st percentile)

Mentioned by

news
6 news outlets
blogs
2 blogs
twitter
34 tweeters
facebook
1 Facebook page

Citations

dimensions_citation
19 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
56 Mendeley
Title
Evidence of heterospecific referential communication from domestic horses (Equus caballus) to humans
Published in
Animal Cognition, April 2016
DOI 10.1007/s10071-016-0987-0
Pubmed ID
Authors

Rachele Malavasi, Ludwig Huber

Abstract

Referential communication occurs when a sender elaborates its gestures to direct the attention of a recipient to its role in pursuit of the desired goal, e.g. by pointing or showing an object, thereby informing the recipient what it wants. If the gesture is successful, the sender and the recipient focus their attention simultaneously on a third entity, the target. Here we investigated the ability of domestic horses (Equus caballus) to communicate referentially with a human observer about the location of a desired target, a bucket of food out of reach. In order to test six operational criteria of referential communication, we manipulated the recipient's (experimenter) attentional state in four experimental conditions: frontally oriented, backward oriented, walking away from the arena and frontally oriented with other helpers present in the arena. The rate of gaze alternation was higher in the frontally oriented condition than in all the others. The horses appeared to use both indicative (pointing) and non-indicative (nods and shakes) head gestures in the relevant test conditions. Horses also elaborated their communication by switching from a visual to a tactile signal and demonstrated perseverance in their communication. The results of the tests revealed that horses used referential gestures to manipulate the attention of a human recipient so to obtain an unreachable resource. These are the first such findings in an ungulate species.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 34 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 56 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Germany 2 4%
United Kingdom 2 4%
Japan 1 2%
Hungary 1 2%
Unknown 50 89%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 10 18%
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 16%
Unspecified 7 13%
Researcher 7 13%
Student > Bachelor 6 11%
Other 17 30%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 24 43%
Unspecified 12 21%
Psychology 11 20%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 4 7%
Medicine and Dentistry 2 4%
Other 3 5%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 87. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 25 June 2019.
All research outputs
#184,452
of 13,330,205 outputs
Outputs from Animal Cognition
#57
of 983 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#6,983
of 263,784 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Animal Cognition
#2
of 24 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,330,205 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 98th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 983 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.6. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 263,784 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 24 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.