Heart rate as a measure of emotional arousal in evolutionary biology

Wascher, Claudia (2021) Heart rate as a measure of emotional arousal in evolutionary biology. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 376 (1831). p. 20200479. ISSN 1471-2970

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0479


How individuals interact with their environment and respond to changes is a key area of research in evolutionary biology. A physiological parameter that provides an instant proxy for the activation of the automatic nervous system, and can be measured relatively easily, is modulation of heart rate. Over the past four decades, heart rate has been used to assess emotional arousal in non-human animals in a variety of contexts, including social behaviour, animal cognition, animal welfare and animal personality. In this review, I summarize how measuring heart rate has provided new insights into how social animals cope with challenges in their environment. I assess the advantages and limitations of different technologies used to measure heart rate in this context, including wearable heart rate belts and implantable transmitters, and provide an overview of prospective research avenues using established and new technologies, with a special focus on implications for applied research on animal welfare.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: animal welfare, cognition, emotional arousal, heart rate, individual differences, social behaviour
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2021 10:45
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2022 11:20
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/706464

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