A team of scientists at Rockefeller University have designed a unique touch screen with a specific application that dolphins can interact without interfering with their habitat and safely, in order to further study the behavior of these intelligent and social animals.

Universidad Rockefeller Hunter College delfines

Installed for a pilot project National Aquarium Baltimore (United States), this great underwater touch screen (about three meters of surface), is located behind a window so that there is no electronic device that may alter the safety and dolphin habitat in the pool, and has a 'keyboard' that when you touch the dolphin, optically active detects a series of activities in an application developed specifically to investigate and observe how communication and cognitive collaboration of these marine mammals.

This unique visual system has been developed optical technology M2C2Specifically developed for this project by an interdisciplinary team of scientists Rockefeller University and Hunter CollegeCoordinated, respectively, by biophysicist Marcelo Magnasco, Neuroscience Laboratory Rockefeller University academic center, and Diana Reiss, a cognitive psychologist and professor dolphin, working in collaboration with the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Universidad Rockefeller Hunter College delfines

Si bien la investigación se encuentra todavía en sus primeras etapas, estos animales inteligentes y muy sociales interactúan con un teléfono inteligente construido para ellos e incluso jugar al ‘Whack a mole’ adaptado para delfines, sin necesidad de entrenamiento, entre otras posibilidades destinadas a comprender el aprendizaje y la comunicación vocal de los delfines; su capacidad de comunicación simbólica y qué patrones de comportamiento pueden surgir cuando tienen la capacidad de solicitar ítems, interacciones e imágenes.

In addition to the underwater touch screen, the dolphin habitat in the aquarium has a 24/7 monitoring system to continuously observe their behavior from all angles, as well as an advanced series of hydrophones that locates vocalizations from all points water tank.

Como señala Magnasco, “fue muy difícil encontrar una solución elegante que fuera absolutamente segura para los delfines, pero ha sido increíblemente gratificante trabajar con estas increíbles criaturas y ver sus reacciones a nuestro sistema. Los delfines son muy inteligentes y este sistema totalmente interactivo y programable nos ayudará a seguirles en cualquier dirección que nos lleven”.

In the same vein, Diana Reiss hopes that "this sophisticated touch screen is enriching for dolphins and also for our science, opening a window into the mind of dolphins; offer greater choice and control so they can show reflections of their thinking and help us decipher their vocal communication ".

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By • 30 May, 2017
• Section: Cases of study, Control, Display, Training

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