Symposium: Novel Methods in Measuring Animal Affective States


  • Anna Zamansky, Information Systems Department, University of Haifa
  • Annika Bremhorst, Dogs and Science, University of Lincoln (UK), University of Haifa (Israel)
  • Giulia Pedretti, University of Parma (Italy)
  • Chiara Canori, University of Parma (Italy)

The development of objective tools for measuring animal behaviour, comprising facial and body movements, as well as recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), offer exciting new opportunities for the investigation of animal affective states, which encompasses emotions, distress, mood, and pain. This symposium aims to connect the fields of animal behaviour and cognition, veterinary science, and AI. Our focus will be an integrated discourse on the challenges and opportunities faced when synthesizing traditional animal behaviour research with cutting-edge AI methodologies for investigating animal affective states. Our objectives for this symposium are: 

  • Discussing the integration of conventional animal behavioural research with state-of-the-art AI techniques.
  • Identifying challenges and prospects that arise when merging these fields. – Introducing participants to useful tools in the field, including AnimalFACS annotation systems and AI affective computing.
  • Promoting interdisciplinary collaboration among experts. – Highlighting the role of AI in enhancing our understanding of animal emotions and other internal conditions.

The symposium has evolved from three previous workshops (two online and one physical): 

  • Research Methods in Animal Emotion Analysis held online in 2021 (Animal Emotion Analysis Workshop 2021)
  • AnimalFACS Practical Workshop held online in 2021 (AnimalFACS Workshop 2021 | Animal Computing)
  • New Methods in Dog Behavior Analysis held at the University of Haifa, Israel in 2023 (New Methods in Dog Behavior Analysis 23)

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