Scientists try to interpret horse speak

June 5, 2006

U.S. researchers are listening to horse vocalizations in an attempt to interpret how stress is communicated when the animals whinny.

The researchers theorize if the celebrated racehorse Barbaro could talk, doctors would be better able to understand the stress he is undergoing and relieve his pain.

That's the idea behind the Equine Vocalization Project, an acoustical analysis of horse vocalizations by two former Navy acousticians.

"This is a modest introductory research effort to determine if there are any specific vocal expressions connected to stress," explained David Browning, an adjunct University of Rhode Island professor and co-author of the study. "It's an area of acoustics that has been neglected by the scientific community until now.

"The quest now is to determine if horses can utilize this varying frequency to produce specific vocal expressions," Browning said. "If so, you might be able to get a sense of their physical condition by their vocalizations."

The results of the first two years of scientific analysis by Browning and Peter Scheifele, a research associate at the University of Connecticut, were to be reported this week during a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Providence.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Horses get scarred refugee children back in the saddle

Related Stories

Genome blueprint for horse and human vaccines

July 14, 2011

Two strains of Streptococcus bacteria, that have evolved to cause potentially fatal infections in either horses or humans, use the same box of tricks to cause disease. Exploiting their genetic similarities could lead to novel ...

How will shifting climate change US forests?

March 16, 2016

One foggy spring morning just after a hard rain, Park Williams was tromping through the woods deep in Arkansas' Ozark Mountains. Toiling down a steep slope, he supposedly was keeping a simultaneous eye out for rattlesnakes, ...

Recommended for you

ALMA reveals sun in new light

January 17, 2017

New images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) reveal stunning details of our Sun, including the dark, contorted center of an evolving sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth.

Galaxy murder mystery

January 17, 2017

It's the big astrophysical whodunnit. Across the Universe, galaxies are being killed and the question scientists want answered is, what's killing them?

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.