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J Comp Psychol. 2004 Dec;118(4):434-46.

Interplay between environmental and genetic factors in temperament/personality traits in horses (Equus caballus).

Author information

1
Ethologie-Evolution-Ecologie, Université de Rennes 1, Rennes, France. Martine.Hausberger@univ-rennes1.fr

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to broach the question of the relative influence of different genetic and environmental factors on different temperament/personality traits of horses (Equus caballus). The researchers submitted 702 horses to standardized experimental tests and investigated 9 factors, either genetic or environmental. Genetic factors, such as sire or breed, seemed to influence more neophobic reactions, whereas environmental factors, such as the type of work, seemed to play a more dominant role in reactions to social separation or learning abilities. Additive effects were evident, showing how environmental factors may modulate behavioral traits. This study constitutes a first step toward understanding the relative weights of genetic factors and how the environment may intervene in determining individual behavioral characteristics.

PMID:
15584780
DOI:
10.1037/0735-7036.118.4.434
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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