DailyDirt: Looking For Smarter Animals
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The search for intelligent life might be more fruitful if we started looking more closely at other animals right here on Earth. The progress of artificial intelligence in computers might also be surpassed by breeding a few hyper-intelligent pets someday. Some zoo animals are already playing around with iPads, so maybe we'll have some super smart cyborgs... In any case, here are just a few examples of projects that are studying how smart our fellow vertebrates might be.
- DARPA is scanning dog brains with MRI machines to figure out which dogs are best suited for military dog training. The FIDOS (Functional Imaging to Develop Outstanding Service-Dogs) project could help train dogs more effectively for all kinds of tasks -- from detecting drugs to being better therapy companions. [url]
- PBS has a great documentary that follows how raccoons are adapting to urban living. Anyone who has tried to protect their garbage cans knows how wily raccoons are. [url]
- What animal would you use to model the cognitive development of human babies? If you said piglets, then maybe you should try being a neuroscientist at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois. [url]
- The problem-solving capabilities of captive hyenas appear to be a bit better than their wild cousins. The tests administered to these hyenas were admittedly a bit biased.... [url]