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The Cognitive Dog

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Title: The Cognitive Dog


1
The Cognitive Dog
  • Class 10 Emotion (fear...)

2
Agenda
  • Questions?
  • Bruce the neural basis of fear
  • Carolyn working with a fearful dog

3
Emotions
4
How LeDoux defines emotion
  • Emotion defined as the process by which the
    brain determines or computes the value of a
    stimulus
  • As a consequence of this evaluation...
  • Reaction Emotional reactions occur. The overt
    bodily responses and associated changes in
    internal body physiology are the advance guard of
    emotional responsivity.
  • Feeling Subsequently (at least in humans) a
    feeling emerges
  • Reponse Given that we are in an emotionally
    arousing situation, we often take action. That
    is, we do things to cope with or capitalize on
    the event that is causing us to be emotionally
    aroused.

LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self How our Brains
Become Who We Are. New York, NY, Penguin Books.
5
A key point here...
  • Discussion of emotion in animals tends to focus
    on reaction response
  • Observable behavior (freeze, threat, affiliative,
    ...)
  • The neural processing, hormonal response,
    learning and memory that seems correlated with
    the observable behavior
  • With the assumption that there is an adaptive
    value to these mechanisms
  • Emotion is what you feel, Affect is what you
    show...

6
Categorizing emotions..
7
The major emotional systems in animals?
  • Seeking
  • Fear
  • Rage
  • Panic (social bonding)
  • Special purpose
  • Lust
  • Maternal Care
  • Play

Panksepp, J. (1998). The Foundations of Human and
Animal Emotions. New York, NY, Oxford University
Press.
8
McConnell focuses on 4 systems that she feels are
most relevant to dog-human relationships
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Joy
  • Love (affiliative)

9
Scott Fuller social attraction vs. fear...
  • Indeed, the dynamics of fear and affiliation
    (social attraction) has been a major theme in our
    discussion so far...
  • How this dynamic is different in dogs vs. wild
    canids
  • Paid particular attention to the developmental
    aspects of this dynamic.
  • An understanding of fear is essential if we are
    to understand much of dog behavior...

Lindsay, S. R. (2000). Applied Dog Behavior and
Training. Ames, IA, Iowa State University Press.
10
Our plan for studying emotion
  • We are going to focus on 2 emotional systems
  • Fear
  • Seeking

11
Fear Quick but sometimes wrong is better than
slow and sometimes dead...
12
How do we know an animal is in an emotional state
we call fear?
  • From Boissy
  • Observable behavior
  • Freeze tonic immobility (playing dead)
  • Active Defense (threat or attack)
  • Active avoidance (flight, hiding, escape)
  • Other physical manifestations
  • Neuroendocrine changes that seem correlated with
    above...

Boissy, A. (1998). Fear and Fearfulness in
Determining Behavior. Genetics and the Behavior
of Domestic Animals. T. Grandin. San Diego,
Academic Press 357.
13
Why the animal might respond to a given stimuli
with behaviors we label as being associated with
fear?
  • From Boissy, again...
  • dangers the animal has learned to avoid
  • stimuli that evoke an unlearned response
  • novel stimuli
  • physical characteristics ... such as
    fast-moving stimuli often provoke greater fear
  • stimuli which arise from conspecifics, such as
    alarm calls

Boissy, A. (1998). Fear and Fearfulness in
Determining Behavior. Genetics and the Behavior
of Domestic Animals. T. Grandin. San Diego,
Academic Press 357.
14
LeDoux in two slides
LeDoux, J. (1996). The Emotional Brain. New York,
NY, Simon Schuster.
  • Quick but sometimes wrong is better than slow and
    sometimes dead...

15
LeDoux in two slides
LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self How our Brains
Become Who We Are. New York, NY, Penguin Books.
  • The amygdala rules it is the ring master of
    emotional response

16
The Fear Circuit
  • The amygdala gets early sensory data from the
    sensory thalmus then later from sensory cortex
    memory
  • Amygdala relies on coarse features to identify
    significant sensory events and if found...
  • begins to initiate response
  • primes itself to respond to higher level input
    from SC
  • may guide interpretation

LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self How our Brains
Become Who We Are. New York, NY, Penguin Books.
Early
Middle
Late
17
Later inputs to the amygdala
  • Sensory Cortex more highly processed sensory
    input
  • MTL (hippocampus) multi-modal representations of
    events, memories of facts and experiences.
  • Prefrontal Cortex Higher level control and
    interpretation
  • All serve to refine the activity of the amygdala
    including trying to put the brakes on if necessary

LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self How our Brains
Become Who We Are. New York, NY, Penguin Books.
18
Context conditioning occurs in Basal amygdala
Context conditioning occurs in LA
Fear conditioning occurs in LA (rustle in grass)
Snake
Snake in tank
LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self How our Brains
Become Who We Are. New York, NY, Penguin Books.
  • Rhinal cortex and hippocampus provide amygdala
    with high level representations such as context

19
Ultimately the amygdala mediates reactions and
actions
Central Amygdala
Basal Amygdala
LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self How our Brains
Become Who We Are. New York, NY, Penguin Books.
  • Central Amygdala sets off a cascade of hormones
    neurotransmitters to prepare body

20
Feedback mechanisms
  • Direct connections from the amygdala back to
    other parts of the brain.
  • Initiates production of various hormones that
    affect the state of the body and the brain
  • The body responses themselves provide feedback to
    the brain
  • All three mechanisms may in turn help inform the
    cognitive machinery that the body is having an
    emotional experience

LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self How our Brains
Become Who We Are. New York, NY, Penguin Books.
21
Stress pathways...
  • One consequence of amygdala activity is the
    release of cortisol and other hormones
    (norepinephrine, ...) that have wide-ranging
    effects on the body and brain.
  • The Hippocampus responds to the higher level by
    inhibiting the production of more
  • At moderate levels, cortisol has the effect of
    strenthening connections memory in the
    amygdala and hippocampus

LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self How our Brains
Become Who We Are. New York, NY, Penguin Books.
22
Stress pathways...
  • At prolonged high levels of stress, the level of
    cortisol rises to the point where it actually
    interferes with the functioning of the
    hippocampus.
  • Ability to form explicit memories (i.e., memories
    about context) is weakened
  • Even more insidious, high levels of generalized
    stress may strengthen weakly conditioned fear
    responses that have nothing to do with the
    stress

LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self How our Brains
Become Who We Are. New York, NY, Penguin Books.
23
Stress is a big deal...
  • You may think it is over, but it may take
    minutes/hours for your dogs brain/body to think
    it is over.
  • The elevated levels of glucocortoids resulting
    from stress may be a contributing factor to
    depression, contribute to resistance to
    medication, and issues with immune system.
  • Stress may lessen dogs ability to use contextual
    cues to distinguish between real threats and
    non-threats.

24
Some great books...
  • Scholz, M. and C. v. Reinhardt (2007). Stress in
    Dogs. Wenatchee, WA, Dogwise Publishing.
  • Sapolsky, R. M. (2004). Why Zebra Don't Get
    Ulcers. New York, NY, Owl Books, Henry Holt and
    Co.

25
Conditioned responses, i.e., memories in the
amygdala, are difficult or impossible to
extinguish
  • Experiments have shown that fear conditioning
    becomes resistant to extinction when the
    prefrontal cortex is damaged...
  • The implication is that extinguishing fear
    conditioning is more about the cognitive
    machinery learning that its ok, as opposed to
    the amygdala forgetting
  • Maybe why a single bad incident can seemingly
    undo months of careful counter-conditioning and
    desensitization.
  • Think about flooding in light of this finding
    and the previous ones about the implications of
    high levels of stress on memory formation.

26
The amygdala and action...
  • One consequence of the amygdala being activated
    is that dopamine cells in the VTA are activated.
    Some of these cells release dopamine into a part
    of the brain known as the Nucleus Accumbens.
  • The has the effect of amplifying signals coming
    from the Amygdala and this in turn allows the
    Amygdala to strongly activate and direct motor
    activity, e.g., flee or attack

LeDoux, J. (2002). Synaptic Self How our Brains
Become Who We Are. New York, NY, Penguin Books.
27
The big take home point you want a dog with a
good amygdala
  • The dogs amygdala by virtue of its quick and
    dirty sensory evaluation may be off and running
    before the dogs cognitive machinery can catch up
    to put the brakes on.
  • Its all about reacting, not thinking. And it is
    all about reacting on the basis of less rather
    than more information. And all about quick
    often permanent learning
  • It is very easy for the emotional processing
    mechanism centered around the amygdala to
    highjack the rest of the dogs brain body
    terrier-terror land
  • For you, its all about having a dog whose fear
    circuit isnt poised to take-off for the races at
    a moments notice, that is less likely to
    highjack the dog when it does, and whose
    cognitive machinery is, with your help, able to
    put on the brakes when needed. It should also be
    abundantly clear that aversive techniques are
    fraught with peril.

28
The Great Dane in the room...
  • So do you think dogs have feelings, i.e. are
    conscious of their emotional states?
  • I dont know, but my personal opinion is that if
    it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck give
    it the benefit of the doubt that it is a duck. I
    would much rather bear the consequences of being
    wrong in this regard.
  • Similar brain chemistry
  • Similar organization, many similar mechanisms
    and/or mechanisms that vary by degree
  • That said, the differences in degree and kind of
    mechanism, e.g., language, perceptual
    capabilities, etc. do suggest we need to be very
    cautious about making any conclusions with
    respect to the exact nature of a given animals
    conscious experience.

29
Cognitive Dog
  • OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Class 9

30
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Possible Contributing Factors
  • Genetics vs. Environment
  • Meet the parents and other relatives in
    varied situations
  • "Kennel dog syndrome"
  • under-socialized puppy
  • not obvious in familiar territory

31
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Possible Contributing Factors
  • Critical periods of Development
  • Fear stages to be aware of
  • 8 to 11 weeks
  • 5 or 6 months to maturity
  • Avoid situations
  • Be prepared to handle positively

32
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Possible Contributing Factors
  • Critical periods of Development
  • Steiffs Puppy Aptitude Test
  • Speaking of the chicken or the egg.
  • Which came first his fear of people with
    events or the test

33
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Recognizing fear
  • Body Posture
  • Subtle to blatant
  • Dog walk example
  • from speeding across
  • to refusing to do
  • Fear of people
  • belly up to biting

34
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Recognizing fear
  • Body Signs to look for
  • Ears back, lips drawn back, lip
    licking, panting, eyes dilated, eyes large and
    showing whites, tail down, tense body, shaking,
    avoidance
  • Defensive aggression
  • Barking, lunging, growling, snapping
  • biting

35
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Recognizing fear
  • Body Signs to look for

36
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Recognizing fear
  • Fear and Aggression
  • Aggression can be self-rewarding
  • 1 rep of someone backing away relief
    which can create learned aggression
  • Dogs perception - passersby
  • the aggressing is working
  • Relief is Self rewarding for the dog

37
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Recognizing fear exists
  • Displacement behaviors
  • Stress or fear
  • Yawning, sniffing,
  • scratching, zoomies,
  • appearing distracted

38
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Environmental Situations
  • Dogs attach fears to things/people/situat
    ions
  • Scary event sight of person in hat person in
    hat now scary (not the event)
  • Steiff generally attaches his fear of dogs making
    a high pitched noise to people nearby the event
  • 1st episode was when he was 16 months

39
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Preventing fear from building
  • Take it SLOW when training something
    potentially scary
  • SHAPE don't LURE
  • See Saw example
  • Easier to take your time in the beginning than
    fix later
  • Always work within the dog's comfort zone

40
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear
  • Always handle the emotional reactions of dogs in
    a positive manner
  • Never force into a situation that can be avoided
  • Less potential for fallout
  • Flooding and Punishment have potential for
    suppression and fallout

41
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear
  • A safe approach to change emotions
  • Classical conditioning to reduce the emotional
    response
  • Then work towards teaching an alternative
    behavior using operant conditioning
  • Through Positive Reinforcement
  • and Shaping ideally with a clicker

42
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • What is Classical Conditioning?
  • From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Classical conditioning (also Pavlovian
    conditioning, respondent conditioning or
    alpha-conditioning) is a type of associative
    learning. Ivan Pavlov described the learning of
    conditioned behavior as being formed by pairing
    two stimuli to condition an animal into giving a
    certain response. The simplest form of classical
    conditioning is reminiscent of what Aristotle
    would have called the law of contiguity, which
    states that "When two things commonly occur
    together, the appearance of one will bring the
    other to mind."

43
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear
  • Classical works on the emotions
  • Reflexive not learned
  • Associates one event with another
  • Changes emotions and behavior based on the
    emotions
  • fear (emotion)
  • fight or flight (behavior)

44
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear
  • Classical works for us and against us
  • Against Loud noise happens as a dog sees a
    person and then associates the noise with that
    person
  • For Counter conditioning, use of a strong
    positive (food) in association with the person
    the dog is now afraid of to reduce fear

45
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear - CC Guidelines
  • Situate the dog for minimal reaction to the
    trigger stimulus
  • This may require distance
  • barriers
  • lower level of sound
  • There IS a below threshold
  • If a quarter mile start there!

46
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear - CC Guidelines
  • Manage the dog for safety of all
  • Collars that cannot slip off
  • martingale
  • harness
  • head collar
  • double leashes
  • classes tie outs

47
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear - CC Guidelines
  • The dog needs to perceive the stimulus or trigger
    first
  • THEN follow with really good food (it just
    appears)
  • Drop on the ground if not taking from your hand
    (appetitive behavior and is self rewarding)
  • Increase distance from the trigger
  • if not eating at all

48
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear - CC Guidelines
  • Dog begins to focus on you - add an alternative
    behavior
  • You are now moving from classical conditioning to
    operant conditioning
  • First alternative behavior often needs to be
    simply to focus on the handler

49
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear
  • Operant conditioning teaches behaviors replace
    the old fear reaction with a new behavior once
    the emotional response is reduced
  • Positive reinforcement only
  • Luring - avoid with fear issues
  • Shape behaviors you want
  • Shaping engages the brain

50
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear - CC Guidelines
  • Use already known fun (to the dog) behaviors
    after getting attention first
  • Go back to CC anytime the reactivity increases
  • Take note - Poisoned Cues
  • Some verbal cues can be poisoned due to bad
    experiences, retrain the behavior with no cue
    then change it names are an example for some
    rescue dogs

51
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • Decreasing the Fear
  • Slowly decrease the distance OR
  • increase the stimulus
  • Set up and manage the environment
  • carefully for best results

52
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • The repair review
  • Be patient small steps
  • Work for short periods of time
  • In class have dogs go out for a break
  • Continually observe your dogs posture to know
    how he is doing

53
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • The repair review
  • Classical first (counter-condition)
  • Use high value rewards
  • Work at a distance the dog can handle

54
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • The repair review
  • Move from classical to operant
  • When the fear is reduced
  • Reactions are less
  • Dog can focus on you
  • Back to classical if dog reacts

55
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • The repair review
  • The move from classical to operant
  • Experience has shown me that the both are
    critically important
  • classical reduces the fear and the
    emotional reaction
  • operant appears to allow the dog to become
    more acclimated to the fear producing stimulus
    and further reduces the fear

56
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • The repair review
  • ALWAYS create an escape
  • Let the dog take more distance if needed
  • Obstacles allow to get off
  • Ask to get off before they need to get off
  • NEVER force a fearful dog

57
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • The repair review
  • Class or set up situations
  • Tie outs
  • Big Space and or Barriers
  • Some dogs appear to enjoy reacting
  • Use of Negative Punishment
  • Dog tied dog reacts handler leaves dog
    stops reacting handler returns

58
OVERCOMING THE FEAR FACTOR
  • The repair review
  • Will it go away completely - probably not
  • Maintenance
  • Management
  • Improvement
  • Possible reoccurrence
  • Steiff is an example of reoccurrence
  • I cannot completely manage the environment I
    put him in lots of dogs and different
    situations
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