Impaired instrumental choice in crib-biting horses (Equus caballus)

Matthew Parker, Edward S. Redhead, Deborah Goodwin, S. D. McBride

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (SciVal)


Horses displaying an oral stereotypy were tested on an instrumental choice paradigm to examine differences in learning from non-stereotypic counterparts. Stereotypic horses are known to have dysfunction of the dorsomedial striatum, and lesion studies have shown that this region may mediate response-outcome learning. The paradigm was specifically applied in order to examine learning that requires maintenance of response–outcome judgements. The non-stereotypic horses learned, over three sessions, to choose a more immediate reinforcer, whereas the stereotypic horses failed to do so. This suggests an initial behavioural correlate for dorsomedial striatum dysregulation in the stereotypy phenotype.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-140
Number of pages4
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1
Early online date16 Mar 2008
Publication statusPublished - 05 Aug 2008


  • horse
  • stereotypy
  • striatum
  • dopamine
  • concurrent-chain schedules
  • choice


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