“There are clear differences in pig calls when we look at positive and negative situations,” said Elodie Briefer, a professor at the University of Copenhagen’s biology department who co-led the study. “In the positive situations, the calls are far shorter, with minor fluctuations in amplitude. Grunts, more specifically, begin high and gradually go lower in frequency. “By training an algorithm to recognize these sounds, we can classify 92% of the calls to the correct emotion.”

In the study published earlier this month, researchers from the University of Copenhagen, ETH Zurich and the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment recorded 7,414 sounds from 411 pigs in different scenarios, reports the Guardian.

The researchers then developed an algorithm to decode whether pigs were experiencing a positive emotion, negative emotion or something in between.

The recordings were collected in situations encountered by commercial pigs from birth to death, the University of Copenhagen said. Researchers also monitored behavior and heart rates.

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