Question of communication and social relationships
During recent years the Pegase team concentrated on issues related to communication and social relationships, especially the effects of early experience on social and emotional development and on the perception of signals (including brain plasticity). Our research is based on observations and experiments both in the field and in the laboratory.
As horses are domestic animals, they allow us to ‘model’ and to try to understand, through human-horse relationships, the concept of social bonding as well as the impact of environmental conditions on welfare, cognition and reproduction. Animal-assisted therapy is another of our model for understanding human-animal bonding and its consequences.
Internal and external collaborations led us to develop similar approaches of other species as for instance nonhuman and human primates, dolphins and robots. Thanks to an international (17 labs from 10 countries) and national (20 labs) collaboration network, our team has developed an important coherent and diversified project along six lines (perception, sociality and breeding; early experience and its effect on social and cognitive development; social bonding and development; perception and understanding of signals; the evolution of communication; practical applications of ethological concepts).