Dr. rer. nat. Jan Langbein

+49 38208 68-802
Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)
Institute of Behavioural Physiology
Applied Ethology Unit
Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2
18196 Dummerstorf

Research interests

  • Animal husbandry is currently characterized by increasing levels of automation and introduction of advanced self-management systems. Animals have to learn automated routines and processes of different level of complexity. Various studies have shown that animals can learn such procedures often on the basis of associative learning. Until now, a general paradigm in research of learning in animals is to test single individuals in a specific learning environment and under human supervision. We go a different way.
  • To study various aspects of visual discrimination learning in dwarf goats, we apply an approach of individual self controlled learning in normal social setting by using a fully automated, learning device, which is integrated in the animals home pen. This corresponds better with animal learning under husbandry conditions.
  • In a long term project we investigate how goats learn to discriminate simple and complex visual signs and how flexible their learning behaviour and memory is. We search for evidence of higher learning abilities in goats like concept learning (oddity, match to sample). We want to test the influence of external (e.g. management practices) and internal (e.g. dominance status, temperament) factors on learning. Further, we want to quantify stress related to learning – both acute mental stress and long lasting psychological stress. Moreover, we investigate if successful learning of cognitive challenges has a positive effect on animal welfare in the long run (cognitive environmental enrichment). To evaluate stress related to learning online, we apply telemetric measurement of heart beat activity and analyse heart rate and heart rate variability. Other research interests are higher cognitive capabilities and emotions of farm animals, temperament in cattle and spatial-temporal pattern of behaviour of cattle in loose housing systems.

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2002-present: Senior scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN) Dummerstorf, Institute of Behavioural Physiology (FBN), Applied Ethlogy Unit
    Research Topics: learning behaviour and cognitive abilities of dwarf goats and pigs; cognitive enrichment; positive emotions; social dominance and aggression; temperament of cattle; analysis of heart rate variability in relation to stress and pain
  • 1997-2001: Institute for Applied Agroecology, Research Group Farm Animal Ecology, Rostock
    Research Topics: mother-young bond in cattle; ethological aspect of farm management of game species; hear rate variability in cattle – indication of stress
  • 1992-1997: Institute for Zoo Biology and Wildlife Research (IZW), Berlin
    Research Topics: biorhythms in free ranging large ungulates; perinatal behaviour and mother-lamb relationship in free ranging mouflons; time and space pattern in wild ungulates
  • 1991-1992: Humboldt University of Berlin, Department of Biology, Institute of Behavioural Sciences
    Research Topics: bioacoustics in mammals
  • 1990-1992: Doctoral Thesis (Ph.D.), Humboldt University of Berlin, Department of Biology, Institute of Behavioural Sciences
    "Comparative investigations on the grazing behaviour of cattle (Holstein Friesien and Siboney de Cuba) at the tropical pasture (Cuba)"
  • 1984-1989: Master Thesis (Diplom), Humboldt University of Berlin, Department of Biology, Institute of Behavioural Sciences
    "Investigations on the ontognesis of the function of the thermoregulation system in Cairina moschata peri partum"
  • 1981-1984: Military service
  • 1978-1981: Professional training as cattle breeder
  • Birth date: 21.04.1962, birth place: Staaken (Germany)


  • Agrar- und umweltwissenschaftliche Fakultät der Universität Rostock
    Ethology; Behaviour of cattle; Behaviour of swine; Animal welfare


Brand, B.; Hadlich, F.; Brandt, B.; Schauer, N.; Graunke, K. L.; Langbein, J.; Repsilber, D.; Ponsuksili, S.; Schwerin, M. (2015):
Temperament type specific metabolite profiles of the prefrontal cortex and serum in cattle. Plos One 10 (4): e0125044, 1-21
Fóris, B.; Trißl, S.; Graunke, K. L.; Langbein, J. (2015):
Differences in observable traits during veterinary treatment in dairy and beef cattle. In: Proceedings : XXV Jubilee International Congress of the Hungarian Association for Buiatrics, September 13-16, 2015, Budapest (Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja , 137.2015, Suppl.1) (978-963-12-3377-3) (137): 100-102
Nawroth, C.; von Borell, E.; Langbein, J. (2014):
Exclusion performance in dwarf goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) and sheep (Ovis orientalis aries). Plos One 9 (4): 1-8
Krause, A.; Zebunke, M.; Langbein, J.; Puppe, B. (2014):
Verhalten und autonome Reaktionen von Schweinen im Kontext der Fütterung. In: Aktuelle Arbeiten zur artgemäßen Tierhaltung 2014 (KTBL-Schrift , 505) KTBL, Darmstadt (978-3-941583-95-5): 242-244
Nawroth, C.; von Borell, E.; Langbein, J. (2014):
Zwergziegen folgen komplexen Bewegungen verdeckter Objekte in einem Wahlversuch. KTBL-Schrift 505: 16-23
Stucke, D.; Große Ruse, M.; Langbein, J.; Lebelt, D. (2014):
Die Bedeutung der Herzfrequenzvariabilitätsanalyse als Schmerzindikator bei Pferden. KTBL-Schrift 505: 54-65
Patt, A.; Gygax, L.; Wechsler, B.; Hillmann, E.; Langbein, J.; Keil, N. (2014):
Übereinstimmung zwischen Herzfrequenzvariabillität, Cortisolmetaboliten-Konzentration und Verhalten bei der Eingliederung einzelner Ziegen in Kleingruppen. KTBL-Schrift 505: 66-75
Krause, A.; Zebunke, M.; Tuchscherer, A.; Bellmann, O.; Mohr, E.; Langbein, J.; Puppe, B. (2014):
Verhalten und autonome Reaktion von Schweinen als Indikator für Wohlbefinden in unterschiedlichen Haltungssituationen. In: 15th Day of the Doctoral Student : abstracts, 13 May 2014 Dummerstorf (Schriftenreihe / Leibniz-Institut für Nutztierbiologie , 23) (Christa Kühn, Gunther Viereck, Hrsg.): 17-20
Graunke, K. L.; Langbein, J.; Repsilber, D.; Schön, P.-Ch. (2013):
Objectively measuring behaviour traits in an automated restraint-test for ungulates: towards making temperament measurable. J Agr Sci 151 (1): 141-149
Gygax, L.; Reefmann, N.; Wolf, M.; Langbein, J. (2013):
Prefrontal cortex activity, sympatho-vagal reaction and behaviour distinguish between situation of feed reward and frustration in dwarf goats. Behav Brain Res 239: 104-114
Leliveld, L. M. C.; Langbein, J.; Puppe, B. (2013):
The emergence of emotional lateralization: Evidence in non-human vertebrates and implications for farm animals. Appl Anim Behav Sci 145 (1-2): 1-14
Zebunke, M.; Puppe, B.; Langbein, J. (2013):
Effects of cognitive enrichment on behavioural and physiological reactions of pigs. Physiol Behav 118: 70-79
Graunke, K. L.; Nürnberg, G.; Repsilber, D.; Puppe, B.; Langbein, J. (2013):
Describing temperament in an ungulate: A multidimensional approach. Plos One 8 (9): e74579, 1-12
Langbein, J.; Nawroth, C.; von Borell, Eberhard (2013):
Ziegen, aber nicht Schafe, nutzen indirekte Informationen in einem Zweifach-Wahlversuch. In: Aktuelle Arbeiten zur artgemäßen Tierhaltung 2013 (KTBL-Schrift , 503) KTBL, Darmstadt (978-3-941583-87-0): 23-32
Langbein, J. (2013):
Lernverhalten von landwirtschaftlichen Nutztieren am Beispiel Zwergziege und Schwein. In: Aktuelle Probleme des Tierschutzes : Vorträge und Kurzfassungen , 33. Fortbildungsveranstaltung der ATF-Fachgruppe Tierschutz, ... ATF, Gehrden (978-3-00-043326-9): 20-30
Meyer, S; Langbein, J. (2013):
Was klugen Ziegen gut tut. Leibniz Nordost 17: 12-13
Langbein, J. (2012):
Investigations on training, recall and reversal learning of a Y-maze by dwarfs goats (Capra hircus): The impact of lateralisation. Behav Process 89 (3): 304-310
Puppe, B.; Zebunke, M.; Düpjan, S.; Langbein, J. (2012):
Kognitiv-emotionale Umweltbewältigung beim Hausschwein - Herausforderung für Tierhaltung und Tierschutz. Zuchtungskunde 84 (4): 307-319
Meyer, S.; Nürnberg, G.; Puppe, B.; Langbein, J. (2012):
The cognitive capabilities of farm animals: categorisation learning in dwarf goats (Capra hircus). ANIM COGN 15 (4): 567-576
Zebunke, M.; Langbein, J.; Manteuffel, G.; Puppe, B. (2011):
Autonomic reactions indicating positive affect during acoustic reward learning in domestic pigs. Anim Behav 81 (2): 481-489