Facial recognition research in sheep can enhance understanding of Huntington’s disease

facial recognition research in sheep can enhance understanding of huntingtons disease

Sheep have the capability to recognize other sheep or people. So, it’s not surprising when you meet sheep and they recognize you.

In a recent study, researchers trained 8 sheep in which they were trained to recognize the faces of celebrities. During the study, it was also observed that the sheep can easily recognize their handlers without any prior training. Though the reason behind this ability of the sheep are still unknown.

With respect to this study, Jenny Morton, the study lead, stated that the sheep are animals that live long with an ability to identify faces. Though they have brain smaller than those of monkeys, they have enough power to memorize; thus, they can be helpful as model animals for studying various brain disorders like Huntington’s disease. This disease effects the brain for long duration and may result in altered mental abilities.

Morton said that the current study helped researchers in analyzing the alteration in the abilities of the brain and specifically, concerning the sheep, who are genetic carriers of mutant gene responsible for Huntington’s disease.


In adverse condition the person suffering from Huntington’s disease may experience uncontrolled movements, abnormal posture, and influence judgment and thinking, behavioral change, etc.

For the study, Morton and her team was using sheep that were genetically modified for carrying the gene for Huntington’s disease.