Posts Tagged 'dolphin intelligence'

The Interspecies Internet: A TED Talk Featuring Diana Reiss and Our Dolphins

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Diana Reiss, renowned cognitive psychologist and dolphin researcher, recently filmed a TED Talk featuring our pod of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins! 

Diana Reiss with dolphins

Researcher Diana Reiss with some of the National Aquarium’s dolphins. Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

Diana joined Neil Gershenfeld, Director, MIT Bits and Atoms Lab; Peter Gabriel, singer, songwriter and producer; and Vint Cerf, credited as co-founder of the internet and currently CEO of the Association for Computing Machinery, the world’s largest and most prestigious scientific and educational computing society. Watch their full talk here: 

The main objective of creating an “interspecies internet” would be to promote increased choice and control for animals through the use of technology. This concept for an interactive internet effectively links people to other animals through live or online experiences. It would create a new network and set of technologies that would carry science, welfare and conservation-related information, ideas and messages into the future.

Diana specifically touched on the cognitive intelligence of dolphins and how they communicate – a topic she’s been researching here at the Aquarium!  To learn more about Diana’s recent discoveries while working with our dolphins, check out this interview she recently recorded with our CEO John Racanelli for A Blue View.

The next big piece of this “interspecies internet” will involve the creation of a touchscreen keyboard. Diana will then study how our dolphins interact with this keyboard, using the information gathered to add to the conversation about these amazing animals and how they communicate.

Tell us your reaction to this idea of an “interspecies internet” in the comments section! 

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A Blue View: Studying Dolphin Behaviors

A Blue View is a weekly perspective on the life aquatic, hosted by National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli.

From the smallest plants and animals invisible to the human eye to entire ecosystems, every living thing depends on and is intricately linked by water.

Tune in to 88.1 WYPR every Tuesday at 5:45 pm as John brings to the surface important issues and fascinating discoveries making waves in the world today.

May 22, 2013: Studying Dolphin Behaviors

A Blue View podcast

Click here to listen to marine mammal researcher
Cynthia Turner describe using enrichment as a research tool

 

Dolphins are highly intelligent, social, playful animals. As we work to understand these amazing creatures, research is an essential part of  our mission at the Aquarium. Our Atlantic bottlenose dolphins are participating in a study consisting of enrichment trials in an effort to understand more about dolphin behaviors, namely, emitting large bubble spheres from their blowholes.

Enrichment provides opportunities to animals to become engaged in something that will hopefully be fulfilling for them. In the bubble sphere enrichment study, staff put together 10 different types of novel enrichment that the dolphins had not previously experienced. Each enrichment is presented to the dolphins in front of the glass four days in a row, and a video records the dolphins and the bubble spheres that are generated. Independent reviewers will look at the tapes and count the bubbles to see if there is a correlation to the number of bubble spheres and exposure to the enrichment.

The Chimp Parade has been one of the favorites so far. The hamster, chimp, and duck are robotic, and they all move when activated. The stars on the chimp’s springy headband have flashing LEDs, and there is a similar star on the back of the duck’s wagon. The vertical object behind the chimp with the silver pipe cleaners on the end and purple, green, and red ribbons is actually a large spring that sways when the skateboard moves.

dolphin enrichment

Another enrichment exercise involves bubble wrap being popped against the glass of our exhibit. Watch Beau and Foster respond to the bubble wrap by emitting bubble spheres: 

A Blue View – Dolphin Intelligence Series pt. 3

A Blue View is a weekly perspective on the life aquatic, hosted by National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli.

From the smallest plants and animals invisible to the human eye to entire ecosystems, every living thing depends on and is intricately linked by water.

Tune in to 88.1 WYPR every Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. as John brings to the surface important issues and fascinating discoveries making waves in the world today.

November 14: Dolphin Intelligence Part Three – Mirror Study

Listen to John and Dr. Diana Reiss discuss the incredible findings of her latest experiment with dolphins!

Dr. Diana Reiss, a cognitive psychologist, professor of psychology at Hunter College in New York, and research scientist, joined John Racanelli for a three-part series on the intelligence and cognition of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

In this week’s discussion, Dr. Reiss shares her remarkable discovery: that dolphins, like humans, can recognize themselves in a mirror.

To listen to part one of this series on bubble ring play, click here.

To listen to part two of this series on keyboard training, click here.

A Blue View: Dolphin Intelligence and Cognition

A Blue View is a weekly perspective on the life aquatic, hosted by National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli.

From the smallest plants and animals invisible to the human eye to entire ecosystems, every living thing depends on and is intricately linked by water.

Tune in to 88.1 WYPR every Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. EST as John brings to the surface important issues and fascinating discoveries making waves in the world today.

Dolphin Intelligence Series
October 9, 2012: Dolphin Intelligence Series – Part Two: Underwater Keyboard Study

Listen to Dr. Diana Reiss and John Racanelli discuss her latest experiment with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins here

Dr. Diana Reiss, a cognitive psychologist, professor of psychology at Hunter College in New York, and research scientist, joined John Racanelli for a two-part series on the intelligence and cognition of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Dr. Reiss has taken a truly innovative approach to working with these highly-intelligent mammals. In a recent experiment, she gave the dolphins the ability to ask for things by using an underwater keyboard!

September 25, 2012: Dolphin Intelligence Series – Part One: Bubble Ring Play

Listen to Dr. Diana Reiss and John Racanelli discuss her examination of  “bubble ring play” with our Atlantic bottlenose dolphins here

Dr. Diana Reiss has conducted research on dolphin cognition all over the world, including here at the National Aquarium. One of the studies Dr. Reiss has conducted examines what she calls “bubble ring play.”

Our youngest dolphin Bayley starting exhibiting “bubble ring play” at only two years old! Check out this video on how we train our dolphins:

**Due to some technical issues with WYPR’s broadcast, our session originally broadcast on October 4, 2012, discussing Eastern Oyster Recovery, was unavailable to post until now. Click here to listen to John discuss the importance of restoring oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay. 


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