Rebecca Nordquist

Dr. Rebecca Nordquist

  • developmental disorders
  • environmental risks
  • translational research
+31 30 253 5415
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Dr. Nordquist's research covers aspects of cognition and emotion in farm animals, both from the perspective of animal welfare and the perspective of the potential of these animals in models of human disease. The Emotion and Cognition in Farm Animals Group has developed and validated behavioral tests for testing learning and emotionality in both pigs and chickens. Current projects include assessing learning and memory in pigs and chickens, examining effects of early environmental and nutritional challenges on behavior in pigs and chickens, and the effects of environmental and developmental challenges on chicken neurobiology.

Dr. Nordquist regularly accepts students for internships in animal behavioral studies and histology.


Research line and group

Research line
Emotion and Cognition in Farm Animals
Number of PhD students
Number of postdocs

Most recent key publications

  • Nordquist, R.E., Zeinstra, E.C., Rodenburg, T.B., van der Staay, F.J. Effects of maternal care and selection for low mortality on tyrosine hydroxylase levels and cell soma size in hippocampus and nidopallium caudolaterale in adult laying hen. Journal of Animal Science 91:137-146 (2013).
  • Angevaare, M.J., Prins, S., van der Staay, F.J., Nordquist, R.E. The effect of maternal care and infrared beak trimming on development, performance, and behavior of Silver Nick hens. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 140:70-84 (2012).
  • Murphy, E., Kraak, L., Nordquist, R.E., van der Staay, F.J. Successive and conditional discrimination learning in pigs. Animal Cognition 16:883-893 (2013).
  • Gieling, E.T., Wehkamp, W., Willigenburg, R., Nordquist, R.E., Ganderup, N.-C., van der Staay, F.J. Performance of conventional pigs and G√∂ttingen miniature pigs in a spatial holeboard task: effects of the putative muscarinic cognition impairer biperiden. Behavioral and Brain Functions 9:5 (2013).
  • van der Staay, F.J., Arndt, S.S., Nordquist, R.E. The standardization-generalization dilemma: a way out. Genes Brain and Behavior, 9:849-855 (2010).