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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Rotational Preference in the Domestic Cat: Relationship to Personality and Behaviors

Rotational preference, an animalís preferred turning direction as it moves about with free choice, has been assessed in humans and rodents. Studies have shown that those with a left-turning preference are more likely to act according to Grayís Behavioral Approach System (BAS) than those who prefer to turn to the right. Individuals with a sensitive BAS emit more reward-seeking behaviors. In the present study, rotational preference was assessed in twenty-nine adult male cats (Felis catus). Rotational preference was compared to the results of two assessments; a cat behavior questionnaire for owners, and a temperament test administered by the experimenter. The proportion of right turns demonstrated by the cats was negatively correlated with the number of approach behaviors measured in the behavior questionnaire and temperament test. This finding supports studies of rotational preference and behavior with humans, as well as the hypothesized neurochemical basis of reward-seeking behavior.

Presenter: Jennifer Michels (Graduate Student)
Topic: Psychology
Location: Fireside Lounge - Union
Time: 1:15 pm (Session III)