Abstract # 180:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation


METHODOLOGY FOR DETECTING MULTIMODAL COMMUNICATION IN WESTERN LOWLAND Gorillas (Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla), PORT LYMPNE WILD ANIMAL PARK, JOHN ASPINALL FOUNDATION, UK

G. S. Forrester1 and N. A. Forrester2
1University of Sussex, School of Life Sciences, JMS Building, Room 3B10, Falmer, East Sussex BN1 9QG, United Kingdom, 2Birkbeck College, University of London
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     A novel method for recording primate behavior was used in order to facilitate the analysis of multimodal communication in gorillas. Each observation consisted of a 15-minute video focal follow on one of four predetermined individuals from a family group, between May and August 2004, at the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Kent, UK. Two digital video cameras were employed to capture different aspects of gorilla behavior. One camera attained a close-up image of the focal gorilla in order to capture gesture information (e.g., facial expressions, vocalizations, manual signals) while a second camera secured a wider field of view to retain information on the communicative partners and their responses. This unique method of data collection was also successful in capturing two different visual angles, facilitating the tracking of communication between individuals and placing behavior within a context. The images from the two cameras were synchronized in order to retain the temporal integrity and sequence of communicative acts. The two synchronized video streams were compressed using specialized software, and generated as a single file in a side-by-side format. These physically linked images allow for synchronous multimodal microanalysis of one or both of the images while retaining the temporal link between the two. Temporal correlations within and between modalities of communication can be analyzed using high specificity software designed to expose significant patterns in behavior.