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Anim Biosci > Accepted Articles
https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.21.0470    [Accepted] Published online January 5, 2022.
Effect of prenatal different auditory environment on learning ability and fearfulness in chicks
Shuai Zhao1  , Chunzhu Xu2  , Runxiang Zhang1,3  , Xiang Li1  , Jianhong Li2,*  , Jun Bao1,3,* 
1College of Animal Science and Technology, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, Heilongjiang, China
2College of life Science, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, Heilongjiang, China
3Key Laboratory of Chicken Genetics and Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Harbin 150030, China
Correspondence:  Jianhong Li, Tel: +86-0451-55190741, Fax: +86-0451-55190741, Email: neaushuai@outlook.com
Jun Bao, Tel: +86-0451-55190741, Fax: +86-0451-55190741, Email: neaushuai@outlook.com
Received: 14 October 2021   • Revised: 12 November 2021   • Accepted: 14 October 2021
Abstract
Objective
Early environmental enrichment in life can improve cognition in animals. The effect of prenatal auditory stimulation on learning ability and fear level in chick embryos remained unexplored. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of prenatal auditory stimulation on the learning ability and fear level of chicks.
Methods
A total of 450 fertilized eggs were randomly divided into 5 groups, including control group (C), low-sound intensity music group (LM), low-sound intensity noise group (LN), high-sound intensity noise group (HN) and high-sound intensity music group (HM). From the 10th day of embryonic development until hatching, group LM and group LN received 65-75 dB of music and noise stimulation. Group HN and group HM received 85-95 dB of noise and music stimulation, and group C received no additional sound. At the end of incubation, the one-trial passive avoidance learning (PAL) task and tonic immobility (TI) tests were carried out, and the serum corticosterone (CORT) and serotonin (5-HT) concentrations were determined.
Results
The results showed that compared with the group C, 65-75 dB of music and noise stimulation did not affect the PAL avoidance rate (p>0.05), duration of TI (p>0.05) and the concentration of CORT (p>0.05) and 5-HT (p>0.05) in chicks. However, 85-95 dB of music and noise stimulation could reduce duration of TI (p<0.05) and the concentration of CORT (p<0.05), but no significant effect was observed on the concentration of 5-HT (p>0.05) and PAL avoidance rate (p>0.05).

Conclusion

Therefore, the prenatal auditory stimulation of 85-95 dB can effectively reduce the fear level of chicks while it cannot affect the learning ability.
Keywords: Auditory Stimulation; Chicks; Fearfulness; Learning Ability


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