24/11/2017 - séminaire de Clive D.L. Wynne

La Fédération a le plaisir de vous convier à assister au séminaire de Clive D.L. Wynne, le 24 Novembre à 11h en Salle des Voûtes.

Un accueil café-viennoiseries vous sera proposé.

Merci donc de bien vouloir vous inscrire : avant le 15 Novembre - sandrine.basques@univ-amu.fr

 Dog Olfactory Learning and Cognition
 Clive D. L. Wynne, Ph.D., Pr.
 Arizona State University

Clive Wynne is Professor of Psychology and director of the Canine Science Collaboratory at the Department of Psychology, Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and Director of Research at Wolf Park, Indiana.
He was educated at University College London and Edinburgh University in Scotland and has studied animal behavior in Britain, Germany, the U.S. and Australia in species ranging from pigeons to dunnarts (a mouse-sized marsupial). Several years ago, he founded the Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab dedicated to understanding the behavior of dogs and their wild relatives with the aim of improving the relationship between people and dogs. His research recently focused on dog social cognition and on the cognition of smell. As well as numerous scientific papers, he has also written for Psychology Today, American Scientist, the New York Times, and other outlets. He has been editor in chief of Behavioural Processes. His most recent books are “Animal Cognition: Evolution, Behavior and Cognition” and the provocative “Do Animals Think?”.
 
 
Odor perception is one of the most complex forms of perceptual behavior. Although relatively under-developed in our own species, it is the most developed sense in canines, and therefore dogs are an excellent species in which to study basic processes of smell cognition and learning. In this talk I will review what is known about the capacity and limitations of dog olfactory learning.
Dogs inherited their sensitive noses from their ancestors, wolves, which use their noses to find prey and communicate with each other. Trained detection dogs are called upon to locate contraband, explosives, missing people, and other things, in ways that are similar to how their ancestors hunted. Relatively little research has addressed how wolves and dogs use scent in communication, but both subspecies are observed scent marking, scent rubbing, and scent rolling. These behaviors likely play a role in social communication. Claims have been made that wild canids have more sensitive olfactory systems than dogs, but, although it is plausible that in the wild any lack of olfactory function would be selected against, direct evidence for differences between dogs and wild canids in olfaction is lacking.
The training of olfactory detection dogs involves several different basic behavioral principles. Classical or Pavlovian conditioning is involved when trainers pair a scent with an attractive consequence, like the opportunity to chase a ball. In Pavlovian conditioning, the novelty of the to-be-conditioned stimulus is important, and I shall report experiments we have carried out on this topic. Operant conditioning comes into play when a trainer shapes a specific desired target response that serves as the dog’s indication that it has found the target odor. In operant conditioning, the question of how and when reinforcers are delivered becomes of paramount importance. Context is very important too, and it is very difficult to maintain the desired target behavior in dogs that seldom detect targets—as must be the case for explosives detection dogs working outside war zones.

The behavioral and biological principles involved in the nose of the dog are well-established in common laboratory species like rats, but, notwithstanding how important detection dogs are to human safety, much less research has directly engaged with our canine “best friends.”