Navigation Links
Go fish! RIT psychology professor trains goldfish for object perception research
Date:10/25/2011

The fictitious storybook character Dr. Doolittle was known for talking with animals.

Caroline DeLong, an assistant professor of psychology at Rochester Institute of Technology, is a real-life Doolittle whose research focuses on object discrimination in goldfish and echolocation in dolphins to bring scientists closer to unlocking the mysteries of animal perception and cognition.

DeLong's theories suggest that marine animalsfrom intelligent dolphins to pet-store goldfish with tiny brainsmay recognize and represent objects similarly to humans. Specifically, they may be able to recognize an object from any orientationcalled object constancy just like humans can.

DeLong has been studying animals for about 20 years. Research by DeLong and other scientists on echolocation, or biological sonar, can help engineers create advanced software and hardware capable of underwater object recognition. Biomimetic sonar systems, based on the structure and function of animal sonar systems, outperform traditional manmade sonar systems.

"Learning about cognitive processes that dolphins engage in during echolocation can help the Navy or NASA to build a superior biomimetic system," DeLong says.

DeLong has started a new line of research on visual object recognition using goldfish so that students can be directly involved in training animals in her lab. In a controlled environment, DeLong and her students have trained goldfish to recognize a black circle attached to the tank, and to choose that circleeven when other shapes (rectangles) are also present. The fish tap the circle with their mouths to receive a food reward. Eventually, DeLong and her students will investigate whether the fish perform the same as humans, pigeons or monkeys on tests of object constancy.

"Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by how animals communicate and view the world," she says. "If I could magically view the world through a dolphin's eyes for a day, I would. Humans view the world using our own sensory systems, and it's amazing to begin to learn how all these different animals view their world using their own sensory systems."

DeLong will soon conquer another ecosystem in her research. A partnership with Rochester's Seneca Park Zoo will allow her to conduct visual object recognition research using semi-aquatic North American river otters.

"This partnership with the zoo will allow me to share my research with zoo visitors," adds DeLong. "Specially designed exhibits and programs will engage zoo visitors and allow me to collect lots of interesting new data. This is a researcher's dream project."


'/>"/>

Contact: Vienna Carvalho-McGrain
vnccom@rit.edu
585-475-4952
Rochester Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Devastating psychological effects of BP Gulf disaster are explored in Ecopsychology journal
2. The psychology of food cravings
3. Premier issue of Ecopsychology launched by Mary Ann Liebert Inc. publishers
4. New ecopsychology journal will premiere in spring 2009
5. Darwins seminal impact on biology, anthropology, philosophy and psychology
6. Rutgers professor uses lichen to help cities go green
7. New book from NJIT professor focuses on art, science and evolution
8. UT professor elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
9. Recognition for 7 Concordia professors
10. Professor Peter J. Coffeys stem cell therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration expected to begin clinical trials in 2012
11. Professor Doug Hilton wins Milstein Award for cytokine research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/22/2016)... November 22, 2016 According to the new market ... Print, Face, Vein, Signature, Voice), Multi-Factor), Component (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact ... MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to grow from USD 10.74 Billion in ... 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. , Nov. 17, 2016  AIC announces that it ... about using NVMe storage servers in organizations that require high-performance scale-out plus high speed data transfer ... ... ... Setting ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... , Nov. 14, 2016  Based on ... market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes FST Biometrics ... Award for Visionary Innovation Leadership. FST Biometrics ... biometric identification market by pioneering In Motion ... for instant, seamless, and non-invasive verification. This ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)...  HedgePath Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQX: HPPI), a clinical ... to commercialize innovative therapeutics for patients with cancer, ... approved for trading on the OTCQX U.S. market. ... effective today, under the ticker symbol "HPPI." ... must meet high financial standards, follow best practice ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016 Eutilex Co. Ltd. today ... (US $18.9M) Series A financing. This financing round included ... Venture and SNU Bio Angel. This new funding brings ... KRW (US $27.7M) since its founding in 2015. ... the development and commercialization of its immuno-oncology programs, expand ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016   Biocept, Inc . ... provider of clinically actionable liquid biopsy tests to ... clinical data featuring its Target Selectorâ„¢ Circulating Tumor ... for the detection of actionable biomarkers in patients ... sponsored by Sara Cannon Research Institute (SCRI), the ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... A new ... the setting of previously treated, advanced pancreatic cancer, liquid biopsies are not yet ... population and timing of blood sampling may improve the value of a blood-based ...
Breaking Biology Technology: