Welcome to COGNIT!

Welcome to the website which links humans and animals!

Some studies suggest that being an owner decrease cardiac risks (Mubanga et al., 2017). One of the causes proposed is that having animals encourage us to walk and do physical activities.

COGNIT (COmparative coGNItion Team) is a research group interested in the study of human and animal complex cognitive abilities. Our subjects of research are:

  • How far are complex cognitive abilities shared among various animal species?
  • How human-animal bond impact the human health?
  • How tools -such as EEG (ElectroEncephaloGrams)- used in human research could be non invasively used to investigate cognitive abilities in domestic animals?

On this website, you will find who we are, who are our collaborators and previous internships, our past and current projects. You can also find our offers of internships and collaborations to our current studies.

You are a student or a researcher interested in animal cognition, behavioural or physiological investigation? Do not hesitate and contact us for any information!

If you want to participate to one of our studies, we invite you to check our offers here.

ENJOY !

Horses live in complex social groups, which could promote the emergence of complex cognitive abilities (Aureli et al., 2008).

Offre COVID-19

Mis à jour le 23/06/2020

Qu’est-ce qui favorise votre bien-être durant le confinement ?

Dans le contexte actuel de confinement dû au COVID-19, nous avons mis en place une enquête destinée à mieux comprendre ses effets, en particulier sur votre bien-être.

Les relations sociales sont importantes pour le bien-être des personnes, or elles sont largement impactées par le confinement. Cette étude a pour objectif de comprendre comment les personnes s’adaptent à cette situation, quelles stratégies sont mises en place face au confinement et leurs effets sur le bien-être des personnes.

Nous avons clos les participations pour cette étude. Nous avons reçu entre le lancement du questionnaire le 17 Avril et le 9 Mai (fin du confinement obligatoire) plus de 800 réponses !

Merci pour votre intérêt et votre participation ! 

Si cela vous intéresse, n’hésitez pas à venir régulièrement visiter notre site, nous mettrons ici des informations à propos des résultats obtenus.

Offre Validation d’un questionnaire

Mis à jour le 23/06/2020

La première étape de la validation a été finalisée, nous remercions tous les participants !

Dans le cadre d’une étude sur l’interaction Homme-animal, nous souhaitons valider un questionnaire. Ce questionnaire n’est disponible qu’en anglais et pour les besoins de notre étude, nous devons développer un questionnaire équivalent en français. La validation d’un questionnaire requiert divers critères spécifiques notamment de cohérence. Aussi, nous sollicitons votre aide pour en valider un en français !

Si vous souhaitez participer à la suite de la validation du questionnaire, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter ou à venir sur ce site régulièrement, nous y posteront les prochaines offres.

Merci pour votre intérêt !

Our current projects

Mis à jour le 23/06/2020

  • Investigation on complex cognitive abilities in domestic animals, such as intentionality, attribution of attentional states and knowledge to others, etc
  • Study of facial expressions and micro-expressions in domestic animals (Equus caballus and Canis lupus familiaris)

Offers of master’s degree internships are currently proposed on this subject.

  • Investigation on how animals can have effects on human health (Animal Assisted Activities and Therapies for example)

A PhD student is beginning to work on this topic since November 2019.

An online survey has been done during the COVID-19 crisis, which aimed to investigate well-being while being confined, for owners and non owners. The results are currently analyzed.

How could YOU participate to our studies ?

Mis à jour le 23/06/2020

It will depends on your profil and what you want to do:

If you are a researcher interested in collaborating with us, please contact us and explain us how and why, we will be pleased to exchange with you more about it.

If you want to do an internship, do not hesitate to contact us! You will find below internship offers we propose.

If you want to take part to our data collection, you can contact us to be informed when we need participants. Either owners and no-owners are invited! We will post below every offer of participation and survey.

We are currently proposing an internship (see the offer below)


The study of facial micro-expressions in domestic animals (Equus caballus & Canis lupus familiaris)

Between September & March (6 months)

Micro-expressions have been described in humans as facial movements expressed less than 500 milliseconds. They can be associated with different emotions as disgust, anger, joy, etc.

Micro-expressions are not under our voluntary control so these expressions cannot be simulated, which is not the case with long lasting facial expressions (Bhatnagar et al., 2016). It is interesting to analyse them because they could give more precise information about the internal state of an individual. Up to now, micro expressions have been explored a lot in humans but a few in non-human animals. Data collection in horses has been already done during the last spring and the results suggest
that non-human animals have micro-expressions.

This internship aims to investigate whether non-human animals have or not some facial microexpressions, and if they express them according to a socio-cognitive context. More precisely, this research will take place in a human animal interaction context, between an owner and his/her animal, a dog or a horse. The person will participate to the recordings, the data collection and the statistical analysis.

We are searching for a person in a master’s degree, interested in human-animal
relationship, who have some experiences with dogs and/or horses. The person should know how to study animal behaviour, dogs’ and/or horses one preferentially.

If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact us !

Send us a message

If you want to contact us for any reason, do not hesitate to use this contact form :

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Our previous communications

Workshop « Self-Others », Brussels (Belgium), October 2019

  • Poster « Do horses (Equus caballus) adapt their behaviour according to human attentional states? » Sophie Pellon, Eloïse Ganier, Cassandre Emrot, Claude Tomberg, University of Brussels (ULB) – Belgium
  • Poster « Horses gender (Equus cabllus) influences facial expressions in an interspecific communication » Sophie Pellon, Claude Tomberg, University of Brussels (ULB) – Belgium

SFECA, Lille (France), June 2019

  • Poster « Do horses (Equus caballus) have intentional states? » Sophie Pellon, Eloïse Ganier, Claude Tomberg, University of Brussels (ULB) – Belgium

International Congres Equitation Science Meeting, Nürtingen (Germany), May 2015

  • Poster « Effects of a walk phase at the warm up onset on physiological and behavioural parameters of ridden horses (Equus caballus) » Marion Jacquot (1), Adeline Grosjean (1), Cassandre Emrot (1), Emmanuelle Van-Erck-Westergren (2), Cédric Schwartz (3) & Claude Tomberg (1). 1 : University of Brussels (ULB) – Belgium 2 : Equine Sports Medicine Practice (ESMP) – Belgium 3 : University of Liège (ULG) – Belgium
  • Poster « Characterisation of the splenius muscle’s activity (Splenius cervicis) during a walk phase at the warm up onset of ridden horses (Equus caballus) » Alice Goossens (1), Cédric Schwartz (2), Blandine Barrett (1), Marion Jacquot (1), Emmanuelle Van Erck-Westergren (3), & Claude Tomberg (1). 1 : University of Brussels (ULB) – Belgium 2 : University of Liège (ULG) – Belgium 3 : Equine Sports Medicine Practice (ESMP) – Belgium
  • Oral presentation « Effects of a walk phase at the warm up onset on physiological and behavioural parameters of ridden horses (Equus cavallus) » Marion Jacquot, University of Brussels (ULB) – Belgium

SFECA, Strasbourg (France), April 2015

  • Poster « Caractérisation de l’activité du muscle splenius de  l’encolure  (Splenius cervicis) au cours d’une phase de pas en début d’échauffement chez le cheval domestique (Equus caballus) monté » Alice Goossens (1), Cédric Schwartz (2), Blandine Barrett (1), Marion Jacquot (1), Emmanuelle Van Erck-Westergren (3), & Claude Tomberg (1). 1 : University of Brussels (ULB) – Belgium 2 : University of Liège (ULG) – Belgium 3 : Equine Sports Medicine Practice (ESMP) – Belgium
  • Poster « Effets d’une phase de pas en début d’échauffement sur des paramètres physiologiques et comportementaux chez le cheval domestique (Equus caballus) monté » Marion Jacquot (1), Adeline Grosjean (1), Cassandre Emrot (1), Emmanuelle Van-Erck-Westergren (2), Cédric Schwartz (3) & Claude Tomberg (1). 1 : University of Brussels (ULB) – Belgium 2 : Equine Sports Medicine Practice (ESMP) – Belgium 3 : University of Liège (ULG) – Belgium

Our previous internships

2020

Clémence GABORIT (M1 internship)

Julian LAPIQUE (M2 internship)

Margaux HALLEGOT (M2 internship)

Maxime PETAGNA (L3 internship)

Victoire DEJARDIN (volunteer)

2019

Amélie LOUARN (M2 internship)

Erell PIGNET (M1 internship)

Manon TOURNIAIRE (M2 internship)

2018

Eloïse GANIER (2nd year internship, ENS Agronomie)

Sophie PELLON (M1 internship)

Thi Nhu Hoa DUONG (M2 internship)

2015

Marion JACQUOT (M2 internship)

2014

Adeline GROSJEAN (M1 internship)

Alice GOOSENS (M2 internship)

Blandine BARRET (3 months internship)

Cassandre EMROT (M1 internship + césure internship)

2013

Florie BONNEAU (M1 internship)