Abstract # 2851 Event # 130:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 19, 2010 10:30 PM-12:00 PM: Session 23 (Medallion Ballroom B) Roundtable


K. E. Wagner and S. R. Ross
Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
     Research focused on multiple dimensions of ape cognition has increasingly embraced the use of computer technology. A growing subset of this paradigm facilitates direct interactions between ape subjects and computer interfaces to experimentally assess a range of cognitive competencies, including serial order understanding, equivalence and numerical relationships, processing of social stimuli, and attention processes. The growth and diversification of this branch of ape cognitive research has been paralleled by complementary progress in computer-user interface technology, cognitive experimental methodology and understanding of ape cognitive sophistication. With the exploration of these research tools have also come challenges, including technical maintenance, interface resilience and other practical considerations. Though the academic findings of these studies are well disseminated, there are relatively few forums in which purveyors of these techniques can share information about the challenges they have faced and the technical difficulties overcome. With dual aims of advancing the use of computerized technology in the exploration of ape cognition and examining the role of this experimental perspective in cognitive research, participants will consider methodological innovations and the application of this experimental perspective in different captive settings. Discussion will extend to practical, theoretical, and analytical challenges, cross-facility and cross-modality comparisons, the influence of individual, social and environmental factors and practical applications of computerized tools for enrichment and captive management.