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(Reference retrieved automatically from Web of Science through information on FAPESP grant and its corresponding number as mentioned in the publication by the authors.)

Geometric morphometrics for the study of facial expressions in non-human animals, using the domestic cat as an exemplar

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Finka, Lauren R. [1, 2] ; Luna, Stelio P. [3] ; Brondani, Juliana T. [3] ; Tzimiropoulos, Yorgos [4] ; McDonagh, John [4] ; Farnworth, Mark J. [2] ; Ruta, Marcello [1] ; Mills, Daniel S. [1]
Total Authors: 8
[1] Univ Lincoln, Sch Life Sci, Joseph Bank Labs, Lincoln LN6 7DL - England
[2] Nottingham Trent Univ, Anim Rural & Environm Sci, Southwell NG25 0QF - England
[3] Sao Paulo State Univ Unesp, Sch Vet Med & Anim Sci, BR-18618970 Sao Paulo - Brazil
[4] Univ Nottingham, Sch Comp Sci, Nottingham NG8 1BB - England
Total Affiliations: 4
Document type: Journal article
Source: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS; v. 9, JUL 8 2019.
Web of Science Citations: 2

Facial expression is a common channel for the communication of emotion. However, in the case of non-human animals, the analytical methods used to quantify facial expressions can be subjective, relying heavily on extrapolation from human-based systems. Here, we demonstrate how geometric morphometrics can be applied in order to overcome these problems. We used this approach to identify and quantify changes in facial shape associated with pain in a non-human animal species. Our method accommodates individual variability, species-specific facial anatomy, and postural effects. Facial images were captured at four different time points during ovariohysterectomy of domestic short haired cats (n = 29), with time points corresponding to varying intensities of pain. Images were annotated using landmarks specifically chosen for their relationship with underlying musculature, and relevance to cat-specific facial action units. Landmark data were subjected to normalisation before Principal Components (PCs) were extracted to identify key sources of facial shape variation, relative to pain intensity. A significant relationship between PC scores and a well-validated composite measure of post-operative pain in cats (UNESP-Botucatu MCPS tool) was evident, demonstrating good convergent validity between our geometric face model, and other metrics of pain detection. This study lays the foundation for the automatic, objective detection of emotional expressions in a range of non-human animal species. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 10/08967-0 - Evaluation of clinical and experimental pain in animals
Grantee:Stelio Pacca Loureiro Luna
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants
FAPESP's process: 17/12815-0 - Pain and quality of life in animals
Grantee:Stelio Pacca Loureiro Luna
Support type: Research Projects - Thematic Grants