Commentary Type

Open Commentary


Measures of vigilance and fear might be more consistently associated if side biases are taken into account, because the right side of the brain is specialised to detect predators and to express fear responses. In species with eyes positioned laterally and with relatively small binocular fields, this brain asymmetry is manifested as eye preferences because each eye sends most of its input to be processed in the opposite side of the brain. Hence, responses elicited by stimuli on the animal’s left side are more likely be associated with fear than are responses to the same stimuli on the animal’s right side.

Author Biography

Lesley J. Rogers is Professor Emeritus at the University of New England, Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. She has studied animal behaviour for many years and is well-known for her research on development and lateralized behaviour in the chicken. She has also published on welfare in domestic chickens and other species.