Monday, December 31, 2007

Dogs Do Well on Computers




They sport bejeweled chokers, lavish in spa bubble baths and have their own leather-bag chauffeurs. And now our almost-human dogs might also try their paws at computers.

Four dogs strutted their stuff recently by using touch-screen computers to classify color photographs for a study of animal cognition.

"Using touch-screen computers with dogs opens up a whole world of possibilities on how to test the cognitive abilities of dogs by basically completely controlling any influence from the owner or experimenter," the University of Vienna, Austria, researchers write in the most recent online issue of the journal Animal Cognition.

Getting inside the brains of our canine pets has been frustrating for researchers, because a foolproof method for testing dog smarts has remained elusive. Until now, methods relied on the dog's owner or an experimenter to cue the animal, a variable that could influence the results.



Friederike Range and colleagues turned to computers. In order to test whether dogs can visually categorize pictures and transfer their knowledge to new situations, four dogs were shown landscape and dog photographs, and expected to make a selection on a computer touch-screen.

In the training phase the dogs were shown a landscape photo and dog photo simultaneously on a computer screen. When they nose-selected the dog, they received a treat.

To test whether the canines could transfer the learned info to a new situation, the researchers flashed onto the screens a different set of dog-landscape photographs. Sure enough, the four-legged subjects chose the dog photographs.

Then, the researchers added a twist: The dog pictures were pasted onto the landscape pictures used in the training phase. In this test, the dogs had to choose between a dog-on-landscape image and a landscape-only photo. Good doggies ... they aced the test, selecting the images that included dogs.

The results indicate, according to the authors, the dogs were able to form a concept of a "dog." Whether the dogs recognized the pup pictures as actual dogs, however, is unknown.

41 comments:

Gerald said...

Shocked

Dear Posters:

The title of this open letter is “Shocked.” I gave this letter the title because a friend of mine in finance has said to me that Hitler Bush will declare martial law and cancel the 2008 elections. I have discussed this possibility with him for three years and he refused to agree with me. So, when he said that the elections would be cancelled, I was shocked.

He said that the reason for his change of mind has to do with the debates and the caliber of candidates who are running for the presidency. He believes that entire bunch is useless and another Hitler Bush. Nazi Americans will not rebel when Hitler Bush declares martial law sometime in 2008. Why change the stench in midstream? With Hitler Bush you know that he is a scumbag and the others may be even worse. He now concurs with me and the cancellation of our 2008 elections.

He also said to me that more people are using the word bushianity in Nazi America. That was a bit of a shock because there are only two people in the United States of Evil that have ever openly said the word, bushianity. Only Dr. Teresa Whitehurst and I have spoken of bushianity.

I learned of the word from Dr. Whitehurst who uses it to explain the Nazi Party’s contempt for poor people and their policies that attempt to enslave Nazi Americans.

I use the word as an explanation of Nazi America’s new religion that adores, honors, and worships Hitler Bush. This religion clings to the eight pillars that glorify Nazi Americans. These eight pillars that are central to this religion are HATRED, MASS MURDERS, TORTURE, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, CORRUPTION, DECADENCE, GREED, and ENDLESS LIES.

Yes, I was shocked because maybe, just maybe, more people are becoming aware of how evil our country really is. We are a people that lusts for human blood and we become ecstatic and joyful at the sight of human carnage.

Sincerely,
Gerald

Gerald said...

Quotable
War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.
– General Smedley Butler

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush's best-laid plans

Gerald said...

At the beginning of his second term, Bush spoke confidently of the United States sponsoring a global democratic revolution "with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." Ever since that hopeful moment, developments across the greater Middle East -- above all, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and on the West Bank -- have exposed the very real limits of U.S. wisdom and power.

Now the virtual impotence of the U.S. in the face of the crisis enveloping Pakistan -- along with its complicity in creating that crisis -- ought to discredit once and for all any notions of America fixing the world's ills.

Bush dreamed of managing history. It turns out that he cannot even manage Pakistan. Thus does the Author of Liberty mock the pretensions of those who presume to understand his intentions and to interpret his will.

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush's Twilight Year Looks Grim

Gerald said...

Hitler Bush, of course, is still hoping that 2008 may yet deliver his presidency from the fate of being judged as one of the very worst – if not the worst – in history.

A number of eminent historians have in fact already reached that judgment, based on, among other things, the strategic disaster of the Iraq war; the squandering of Washington's overseas image as a champion of international law and human rights; the defiance of constitutional safeguards at home; the politicization of the system of justice; and the distortion of scientific research regarding global warming and other critical issues.

HITLER BUSH IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF EVIL.

Gerald said...

How can Hitler Bush manage anything right when bunnypants cannot even manage to remove the poop in his pants?

Gerald said...

Actually, eleven good things about 2007

The eleventh good thing about 2007 was the publishing of Gerald's book, "Memoirs of an Internet Poster."

NOT Gerald said...

If I may interrupt this stream-of-consciousness long enough to ruminate briefly on dogs doing well on computers...

I wonder if dogs could be taught to use voting machines?

Maybe Florida should test the possibility.

signed me out said...

S.O.B!

capt said...

Pavlov's Electoral College?

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