Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gaze-following abilities in wolves

Date:
February 24, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Following others' gaze direction is an important source of information that helps to detect prey or predators, to notice important social events within one's social group and to predict the next actions of others. As such, it is considered a key step towards an understanding of mental states, such as attention and intention. Researchers have now observed this behavior in wolves, a behavior previously only observed in birds and primates.

Gaze following into distant space.
Credit: Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016888

Following others' gaze direction is an important source of information that helps to detect prey or predators, to notice important social events within one's social group and to predict the next actions of others. As such, it is considered a key step towards an understanding of mental states, such as attention and intention.

Related Articles


Many animals will follow the gaze of others into distant space. Following a gaze around a barrier, which is considered to be a more cognitively advanced task, is much less common.

Friederike Range and Zsofi Viranyi at the University of Vienna have now observed this behavior in wolves, a behavior previously only observed in birds and primates.

Their findings are published on Feb. 23 in the online journal PLoS ONE.

The researchers found that hand-raised wolves readily detoured an obstacle in order to check where a conspecific or human demonstrator was looking, indicating that gaze following around a barrier is not restricted to primates and corvids. The wolves, however, quickly stopped responding to repeated looks if they found nothing interesting on the other side of the barrier.

On the contrary, they did not habituate to repeated looks of a human demonstrator into distant space, supporting the idea that the two gaze following modalities have different underlying cognitive mechanisms. These new data shed light on the evolutionary origins of gaze following abilities and allow scientists to hypothesize about the selective pressures shaping such fine-tuned attentional coordination in social animals.

This research has been supported by the FWF (P21244), Royal Canin and the Game Park Ernstbrunn. FWF, Royal Canin. Moreover, as a scientific society the Wolf Science Center is largely funded through private, anonymous donors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Range F, Vira´nyi Z. Development of Gaze Following Abilities in Wolves (Canis Lupus). PLoS ONE, 6(2): e16888 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016888

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Gaze-following abilities in wolves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223171237.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, February 24). Gaze-following abilities in wolves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223171237.htm
Public Library of Science. "Gaze-following abilities in wolves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223171237.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) — A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins