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Seeing the world through the eyes of an Orangutan
Date:11/27/2012

oving around one camera films what she sees and the other camera films the movements of her right eye. Afterwards Dr Mennie and his students sit down and look at each video frame from this camera and write down the timing and location of these eye movements over the environment. As we make 3 eye movements per second, this is a very time consuming procedure.

Dr Mennie said: "I'm interested in the way we make predictive eye movements to places in the world where the stimulus is yet to appear and whether these predictive eye movements are there to assist the timing and placement of actions or whether they also help high-level mechanisms such as memory for our immediate space and the location of objects within it."

As part of his research Dr Mennie is also hoping to shed light on how these endangered animals navigate to help other scientists who seek to conserve the orangutan habitat. Knowledge of their foraging and search behaviour may help in the design and conservation of forest corridors.

Improving the life of captive animals

Orangutans are a critically endangered species they are also among the most intelligent primates. The Sumatran orangutan is on the IUCN Critically Endangered list. At Zoo Negara they are hoping Dr Mennie's research will help them develop their Enrichment Programme that is designed to get captive animals behaving as they would in the wild.

In the wild Tsunami would use her vision and her hands to guide her through the environment to find food, to use tools, to move and climb. To make Dr Mennie's task even harder, orangutans can grasp equally well with their feet. Faradilla Ain Roselan, Zoology Officer at Zoo Negara Enrichment Centre, said: "We want to keep our animals occupied so they don't display stereo typical behaviour such as pacing. We also want them to be able to exhibit any natural behaviour. Apes are highly intelligent animals and we don't want them to get bored. If we predict what
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Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert  

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