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:4/17/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ... of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April ... ... in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at ... at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... management and secure authentication solutions, today announced that ... by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to ... IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has been ... and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 11, 2017 ... "Company"), a security technology company, announces the appointment of independent ... John Bendheim to its Board of Directors, furthering the ... ... behalf of NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... year’s recipients of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have ... presented in a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... At its national board meeting in North Carolina, ... University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been selected for membership in ARCS ... for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics for the discovery of the accelerating ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... applications consulting for microscopy and surface analysis, Nanoscience Instruments is now expanding ... offers a broad range of contract analysis services for advanced applications. Services ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... 06, 2017 , ... The HealthTech Venture Network (HTVN) is ... fourth annual Conference where founders, investors, innovative practitioners and collaborators are invited to ... showcasing early stage digital health and med tech companies. , This day-long event ...
Breaking Biology Technology: