Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Some Conclusions: Animals are used by Mind Control

Some Conclusions: Animals are used as a military platform for:

  • Detection purposes: plastic explosives, as chemical and bacteriological attack sensors.
  • search and rescue operations; de-mining.
  • Surveillance and bugging purposes: sound, sonar, vision, IR, UV and smell.
  • Reporting by monitoring: their emotional state, .

Animals can possibly be questioned / interrogated neurologically when the questions are formatted in some simplistic way.
Animal guidance is known to work from direct electrical stimulation of the antennae and whiskers upto electromagnetic stimulating of the vestibular system.
Neurologically enhanced animals with sensory inputs and devices alien to their species are to be expected

Smart Animals and Animals with Atypical Behaviour

Google Youtube for: Flipper, Skippy, Black Beauty, Lassy, Elsa the liones, Daktary.
Google Youtube for: Tool using Animals, by David Attenborough.

Google Youtube for: Tippy Degre, A young girl plays with animals,
Tippi of Africa (Paperback), by Sylvia Robert, Alain Degre & Joelle Ody (Author)http://images.google.nl/images?gbv=2&svnum=10&hl=nl&q=tippi+degre&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

Mind Control by Parasites.,
by Bill Christensen, technovelgy 10 February 2006
If the parasite can alter rat behavior, does it have any effect on humans? Dr. E. Fuller Torrey (Associate Director for Laboratory Research at the Stanley Medical Research Institute) noticed links between Toxoplasma and schizophrenia in human beings, approximately three billion of whom are infected with T. gondii. Consider these other cases:
  • The lancet fluke Dicrocoelium dendriticum forces its ant host to attach to the tips of grass blades, the easier to be eaten. The fluke needs to get into the gut of a grazing animal to complete its life cycle.
  • The fluke Euhaplorchis californiensis causes fish to shimmy and jump so wading birds will grab them and eat them, for the same reason.
  • Hairworms, which live inside grasshoppers, sabotage the grasshopper's central nervous system, forcing them to jump into pools of water, drowning themselves. Hairworms then swim away from their hapless hosts to continue their life cycle.

Are parasites like Toxoplasma subtly altering human behavior? As it turns out, science fiction writers have been thinking about whether or not parasites could alter a human being's behavior, or even take control of a person. In his 1951 novel The Puppet Masters, Robert Heinlein wrote about alien parasites the size of dinner plates that took control of the minds of their hosts, flooding their brains with neurochemicals.

Bizarre Human Brain Parasite Precisely Alters Fear.,
by Charles Q. Choi, Special to LiveScience 02 April 2007.
Rats usually have an innate fear of cat urine. The fear extends to rodents that have never seen a feline and those generations removed from ever meeting a cat. After they get infected with the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii, however, rats become attracted to cat pee, increasing the chance they'll become cat food. This much researchers knew. But a new study shows the parasite, which also infects more than half of the world's human population, seems to target a rat's fear of cat urine with almost surgical precision, leaving other kinds of fear alone. Hijacking the mind: T. gondii is a parasitic germ whose primary hosts are cats. However, it can be found in most warm-blooded animals, including an estimated 50 million people in the United States. One study suggests the parasite has altered human behavior enough to shape entire cultures. In cats, the protozoan reproduces sexually, while it reproduces asexually in other animals. The germ seems to especially like infesting the brain—"parasites hijacking the mind," Vyas said. Although the disease it causes in humans is rarely dangerous, it is the reason that pregnant women are sometimes told to avoid cat litter boxes (toxoplasmosis is risky for infants and others with compromised immune systems). Some scientists have suspected it might be linked to mental disorders such as schizophrenia and even neuroticism. Toxoplasma affects fear to cat odors with almost surgical precision." In addition, "we show that parasites are a little more likely to be found in amygdala [a region of the brain] than in other brain areas," Vyas said. "This is important because the amygdala is involved in a variety of fear-related behaviors." Future investigations can explore how exactly the parasite modifies the brain in such a precise manner. Potential targets in the brain for research include the stress hormone corticosterone and the brain chemical dopamine. Scientists might also want to see whether infected rats become less afraid of pictures of cats or scents of different predators of rats. This discovery could shed light "on how fear is generated in the first place" and how people can potentially better manage phobias, researcher Ajai Vyas, a Stanford University neuroscientist, told LiveScience.

Emotion in animals; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;
The standard reference work, The Oxford Companion to Animal Behavior, advises animal behaviorists that 'One is well advised to study the behaviour, rather than attempting to get at any underlying emotion'." Research suggests that animals can experience negative emotions in a similar manner to people, including the equivalent of certain chronic and acute psychological conditions. The classic experiment for this was Martin Seligman's foundational experiments and theory of learned helplessness at the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, as an extension of his interest in depression: A further series of experiments showed that (similar to humans) under conditions of long term intense psychological stress, around 1/3 of dogs do not develop learned helplessness or long term depression. Instead these animals somehow managed to find a way to handle the unpleasant situation in spite of their past experience. The corresponding characteristic in humans has been found to correlate highly with an explanatory style and optimistic attitude and lower levels of emotional rigidity regarding expectations, that views the situation as other than personal, pervasive, or permanent. Such studies highlighted similar distinctions between people who adapt and those who break down, under long term psychological pressure, which were conducted in the 1950s in the realm of brainwashing. Since this time, symptoms analogous to clinical depression, neurosis and other psychological conditions have been in general accepted as being within the scope of animal emotion as well. A 2007 study in Canada found that animals have their own separate personalities.

Animal cognition; (Relative intelligence of different animal species) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Some animals, including great apes, crows, dolphins, dogs, elephants, cats, and parrots are typically thought by humans as intelligent in ways that other animals are not. Part of the difficulty is the lack of agreement about what we mean by intelligence even in humans (it obviously makes a big difference whether language is considered as essential for intelligence, for example). A more fruitful approach has been to recognise that different animals may have different kinds of cognitive processes, which are better understood in terms of the ways in which they are cognitively adapted to their different ecological niches, than by positing any kind of hierarchy. This is the approach taken by the most comprehensive reference text of animal cognition, Shettleworth (1998). One question that can be asked coherently is how far different species are intelligent in the same ways as humans are, i.e. are their cognitive processes similar to ours. Not surprisingly, our closest biological relatives, the great apes, tend to do best on such an assessment. It is less clear that other species traditionally held to be intelligent do unusually well against this standard, though among the birds, corvids and parrots have typically been found to perform well. Domesticated animals often perform well in tests of human-like abilities, but this may simply reflect their better adaptation to the human world and the proximity of humans. Despite ambitious claims, evidence of unusually high human-like intelligence among cetaceans is patchy, partly because the cost and difficulty of carrying out research with marine mammals mean that experiments frequently suffer from small sample sizes and inadequate controls and replication. Octopuses have also been claimed to exhibit a number of higher-level problem-solving skills, but the amount of research on cephalopod intelligence is too limited for it to be conclusive.

Bird intelligence; (Studies of bird intelligence) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bird intelligence has been studied through several attributes and abilities. Many of these studies have been on birds such as quail, domestic fowl and pigeons kept under captive conditions. Birds such as the corvids and psittacines have been shown to live social lives, have long developmental periods and large forebrains, and these may be expected to have greater cognitive abilities.
Counting: Crows were found to be able to keep count and a figure of 7 was found to be the limit of their counting ability. Cormorants used by Chinese fishermen that were given every eighth fish as a reward were found to be able to keep count up to eight.
Associative & Observational learning: Visual or auditory signals and their association with food and other rewards have been well studied and birds have been trained to recognize and distinguish complex shapes. Learning using rewards to reinforce responses is often used in laboratories to test intelligence. However, the ability of animals to learn by observation and imitation is considered more significant. Crows have been noted for their ability to learn from each other.
Spatial and temporal abilities: A common test of intelligence is the detour test. Most mammals discover that the objective is reached by first going away from the target. Domestic fowl fail on this test. Many species have been shown to be able to decide upon foraging areas according to the time of the year. Birds that show food caching behaviour have also shown the ability to recollect the locations of food caches. Studies also suggests that birds may be able to plan for the future. They cache food according to future needs and risk of not being able to find the food on subsequent days. Many birds follow strict time schedules in their activities. These are often dependent upon environmental cues. Birds also are sensitive to daylight length, and this awareness is especially important as a cue for migratory species. The ability to orient themselves during migrations is attributed to birds' superior sensory abilities, rather than to intelligence.
Tool use: Many birds have been shown capable of using tools. The definition of a tool has been debated. Tool use has been defined as the use of physical objects other than the animal's own body or appendages as a means to extend the physical influence realized by the animal. By this definition, an Egyptian vulture dropping a bone on a rock would not be using a tool since the rock cannot be seen as an extension of the body. However the use of a rock manipulated using the beak to crack an ostrich egg would qualify the Egyptian vulture as a tool user. Many other species, including parrots, corvids and a range of passerines, have been noted as tool users. New Caledonian Crows have been observed in the wild to use stick tools with their beaks to extract insects from logs. While young birds in the wild normally learn this technique from elders, a laboratory crow named "Betty" improvised a hooked tool from a wire with no prior experience. Crows in urban Japan have innovated a technique to crack hard-shelled nuts by dropping them onto crosswalks and letting them be run over and cracked by cars. They then retrieve the cracked nuts when the cars are stopped at the red light. Striated Herons (Butorides striatus) use bait to catch fish.
Language: (Main article: Talking birds)While birds have no form of spoken language, they do communicate with their flockmates through song, calls, and body language. Studies have shown that the intricate territorial songs of some birds must be learned at an early age, and that the memory of the song will serve the bird for the rest of its life. Some bird species are able to communicate in a variety of dialects. For example, the New Zealand saddleback will learn the different song "dialects" of clans of its own species, much as human beings might learn diverse regional dialects. Recent studies indicate that some birds may have an ability to understand grammatical structures.
Conceptual abilities: Evidence that birds can form abstract concepts such as same–different has been proven by Alex, the African grey parrot. Alex was trained to vocally label more than 100 objects of different colours and shapes and which are made from different materials. Alex can also request or refuse these objects ('I want X') and quantify numbers of them.
Other abilities: A study on the Little Green Bee-eater suggested that these birds may be able to see from the point of view of a predator. Such an ability to see from the point of view of another individual has been attributed only to the great apes. Such abilities form the basis for empathy.

Brainy crow upsets pecking order,
by Tim Radford, science editor, Friday August 9, 2002, The Guardian
Betty the New Caledonian crow made a tool from a piece of garden wire and used it to hook a tasty morsel of meat out of a tube too deep for her beak. The Oxford experiment was an deliberate attempt to address a puzzle. Would the crows recognise a potential tool in something they had never seen before? "The question is: what kind of physics is it they understand? If you see a problem, pick up a straight wire and without instruction bend it into the right shape, and then extract the food, that means the animal is behaving as if it understands the required physical properties of an instrument," Prof Kacelnik said. And yet, Alexander Weir, Jackie Chappell and Alex Kacelnik report in Science today, when they supplied Betty with an appetising challenge and a 90mm length of pliant garden wire 0.8mm thick, she knew what to do.

Oslo gay animal show draws crowds
Last Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2006,
It says homosexuality has been observed among 1,500 species, and that in 500 of those it is well documented. The exhibition - entitled Against Nature? - includes photographs of one male giraffe mounting another, of apes stimulating others of the same sex, and two aroused male right whales rubbing against each other.

LiveScience.com - Gay Animals: Alternate Lifestyles in the Wild
Bonobo Chimpanzees: Considered the closest living relative to humans, bonobos are not shy about seeking sexual pleasure. Nearly all of these peace-loving apes are bisexual and often resolve conflict by the "make love, not war" principle. They copulate frequently, scream out in delight while doing so, and often engage in homosexual activities. About two thirds of the homosexual activities are amongst females.

Machines Enhanced with Neural Computing

Georgia Tech Researchers Use Lab Cultures to Control Robotic Device,
Atlanta (April 24, 2003) The Hybrot, a small robot that moves about using the brain signals of a rat, is the first robotic device whose movements are controlled by a network of cultured neuron cells. Steve Potter and his research team in the Laboratory for Neuroengineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology are studying the basics of learning, memory, and information processing using neural networks in vitro. Their goal is to create computing systems that perform more like the human brain. Potter, a professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, presented his most recent findings last month during the Third International Conference on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrodes in Texas. As the lead researcher on a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, Potter is connecting laboratory cultures containing living neurons to computers in order to create a simulated animal, which he describes as a neurally-controlled animat.

“Calgary scientist grows brain cells on microchip,” CBC News, 1 March 2004
Canadian and German researchers have grown snail nerve cells on a microchip and showed the cells have memory and can communicate. The researchers say this melding of machine and biology has a wide-range of potential applications..

“Robot moved by slime mould’s fears,”

by Will Knight, NewScientist, 13 Feb 2006.
A bright yellow slime mould that can grow to several metres in diameter has been put in charge of a scrabbling, six-legged robot. The Physarum polycephalum slime, which naturally shies away from light, controls the robot's movement so that it too keeps out of light and seeks out dark places in which to hide itself. They grew slime in a six-pointed star shape on top of a circuit and connected it remotely, via a computer, to the hexapod bot. Any light shone on sensors mounted on top of the robot were used to control light shone onto one of the six points of the circuit-mounted mould – each corresponding to a leg of the bot. As the slime tried to get away from the light its movement was sensed by the circuit and used to control one of the robot's six legs. The robot then scrabbled away from bright lights as a mechanical embodiment of the mould.

Animal with Enhanced Capabilities

The difference between zero and one.,
by W Sweet, Clin Neurosurg. 1976; 23: pp. 32-51.
No abstract available.PMID: 975685 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Robot Arm Controlled Using Command Signals Recorded Directly from Brain Neurons.,
by J. K. Chapin,
Our laboratory employs multi-electrode based brain interface technologies to investigate the control of movement by the sensory and motor systems in the brain. We have recently demonstrated that experimental animals can learn to control a robot arm using brain-derived signals alone, as recorded from neuronal populations in the motor cortex. This approach could be used to restore motor function in paralysis patients.

Monkey controls robotic arm using brain signals sent over Internet.,
by Elizabeth A. Thomson, News Office, December 6, 2000
Monkeys in North Carolina have remotely operated a robotic arm 600 miles away in MIT's Touch Lab -- using their brain signals. The feat is based on a neural-recording system reported in the November 16 issue of Nature. In that system, tiny electrodes implanted in the animals' brains detected their brain signals as they controlled a robot arm to reach for a piece of food. According to the scientists from Duke University Medical Center, MIT and the State University of New York (SUNY) Health Science Center, the new system could form the basis for a brain-machine interface that would allow paralyzed patients to control the movement of prosthetic limbs. The Internet experiment "was a historic moment, the start of something totally new," Mandayam Srinivasan, director of MIT's Touch Lab, said in a November 15 story in the Wall Street Journal. They even tested whether the signals could be transmitted over a standard Internet connection, controlling a similar arm in MIT's Laboratory for Human and Machine Haptics, informally known as the Touch Lab. "When we initially conceived the idea of using monkey brain signals to control a distant robot across the Internet, we were not sure how variable delays in signal transmission would affect the outcome," said Dr. Srinivasan. "Even with a standard TCP/IP connection, it worked out beautifully. It was an amazing sight to see the robot in our lab move, knowing that it was being driven by signals from a monkey brain at Duke. It was as if the monkey had a 600-mile-long virtual arm."

Cortical Ensemble Adaptation to Represent Velocity of an Artificial Actuator Controlled by a Brain-Machine Interface.,
by Mikhail A. Lebedev, Jose M. Carmena, Joseph E. O'Doherty, Miriam Zacksenhouse, Craig S. Henriquez, Jose C. Principe, and Miguel A. L. Nicolelis
The Journal of Neuroscience, May 11, 2005, 25(19):4681-4693; doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4088-04.2005
Monkeys can learn to directly control the movements of an artificial actuator by using a brain-machine interface (BMI) driven by the activity of a sample of cortical neurons. Eventually, they can do so without moving their limbs. Neuronal adaptations underlying the transition from control of the limb to control of the actuator are poorly understood. Here, we show that rapid modifications in neuronal representation of velocity of the hand and actuator occur in multiple cortical areas during the operation of a BMI. Initially, monkeys controlled the actuator by moving a hand-held pole. During this period, the BMI was trained to predict the actuator velocity. As the monkeys started using their cortical activity to control the actuator, the activity of individual neurons and neuronal populations became less representative of the animal's hand movements while representing the movements of the actuator. As a result of this adaptation, the animals could eventually stop moving their hands yet continue to control the actuator. These results show that, during BMI control, cortical ensembles represent behaviorally significant motor parameters, even if these are not associated with movements of the animal's own limb.

Animal Communications

Communication thru smell / Pheromones

Plants to Bugs: Buzz Off!,Plants Use Volatile Signaling Compounds to Fend Off Attack and Possibly Warn Nearby Plants
by Sophie Wilkinson,Chemical & Engineering News, June 30, 2001.
Plants may seem passive in the face of an attack by insects, but they aren't. In fact, plants can marshal elegant defenses in order to do battle with their enemies. And they just might be able to inform their neighbors that they're in danger.

Talking Plants: Plants have more than thorns and thistles to protect themselves—they can cry for help
by Sharman Apt Russell, Discover Magazine, 04.01.2002
Baldwin, a biologist and the director of the Molecular Ecology Department at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, has stationed his equipment here to launch a new study of how plants defend themselves—a question he has pursued for 20 years. He and his colleagues are using chemical sensors to investigate plant communications: cries for help, invitations, even warnings, each in the form of odor molecules that float past human noses unnoticed. The harder biologists look for these signals, the more they find. They have already discovered that plants can send chemical cues to repel insect enemies, as well as signals that attract allies—other insects that are pleased to eat the insects eating the plant. But that is only the start of a more complex scenario, for Baldwin and others have also found that nearby plants can listen in to this conversation and gear up their own defenses.

Communication thru behaviour

Lateralization of Olfaction in the Honeybee Apis mellifera
Pinar Letzkus, Willi A. Ribi, Jeff T. Wood, Hong Zhu, Shao-Wu Zhang and Mandyam V. Srinivasan;
Current Biology, Vol.16 (14) 25 July 2006, pp.1471-1476
Summary: Lateralization of function is a well-known phenomenon in humans. The two hemispheres of the human brain are functionally specialized such that certain cognitive skills, such as
language or musical ability, conspecific recognition, and even emotional responses, are mediated by one hemisphere more than the other. Studies over the past 30 years suggest that lateralization occurs in other vertebrate species as well. In general, lateralization is observed in different sensory modalities in humans as well as vertebrates, and there are interesting parallels. However, little is known about functional asymmetry in invertebrates and there is only one investigation in insects. Here we show, for the first time, that the honeybee Apis mellifera displays a clear laterality in responding to learned odors. By training honeybees on two different versions of the well-known proboscis extension reflex, we demonstrate that bees respond to odors better when they are trained through their right antenna. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of asymmetrical learning performance in an insect.

Do honeybees have two discrete dances to advertise food sources?
by Kathryn E. Gardner, Thomas D. Seeley and Nicholas W. Calderone; Animal Behaviour, 17 Sept 2007
The honeybee, Apis mellifera, dance
language, used to communicate the location of profitable food resources, is one of the most versatile forms of nonprimate communication. Karl von Frisch described this communication system in terms of two distinct dances: (1) the round dance, which indicates the presence of a desirable food source close to the hive but does not provide information about its direction and (2) the waggle dance, which indicates the presence of a desirable food source more than 100 m from the hive and its provides information about both its distance and its direction. The view that honeybees have two discrete recruitment dances has been widely accepted since its inception in the 1920s. However, there are few detailed examinations of the behavioural parameters of dances over the range of food-source distances represented by round dances and waggle dances. Here, we show that both the round dance and the waggle dance convey information about distance and direction and that there is no clear switch between the two. We conclude that it is most meaningful to view the round and waggle dances as the ends of a continuum and that honeybees have just one adjustable recruitment signal: the waggle dance.


Social Learning in Insects — From Miniature Brains to Consensus Building
by Ellouise Leadbeater and Lars Chittka; Current Biology, Vol. 17 (16), 21 Aug 2007, pp. R703-R713
Communication and learning from each other are part of the success of insect societies. Here, we review a spectrum of social information usage in insects — from inadvertently provided cues to signals shaped by selection specifically for information transfer. We pinpoint the sensory modalities involved and, in some cases, quantify the adaptive benefits. Well substantiated cases of social learning among the insects include learning about predation threat and floral rewards, the transfer of route information using a symbolic ‘language’ (the honeybee dance) and the rapid spread of chemosensory preferences through honeybee colonies via classical conditioning procedures. More controversial examples include the acquisition of motor memories by observation, teaching in ants and behavioural traditions in honeybees. In many cases, simple mechanistic explanations can de identified for such complex behaviour patterns.

Communication by bodylanguage

Rapid facial mimicry in orangutan play.;
by Marina Davila Ross, Susanne Menzler, Elke Zimmermann, Biology Letters, Vol 4, No 1 / Feb. 23, 2008, pp. 27-30, DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2007.0535,
Abstract: Emotional contagion enables individuals to experience emotions of others. This important empathic phenomenon is closely linked to facial mimicry, where facial displays evoke the same facial expressions in social partners. In humans, facial mimicry can be voluntary or involuntary, whereby its latter mode can be processed as rapid as within or at 1s. Thus far, studies have not provided evidence of rapid involuntary facial mimicry in animals. This study assessed whether rapid involuntary facial mimicry is present in orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus; N=25) for their open-mouth faces (OMFs) during everyday dyadic play. Results clearly indicated that orangutans rapidly mimicked OMFs of their playmates within or at 1s. Our study revealed the first evidence on rapid involuntary facial mimicry in non-human mammals. This finding suggests that fundamental building blocks of positive emotional contagion and empathy that link to rapid involuntary facial mimicry in humans have homologues in non-human primates. Keywords: orangutan, rapid facial mimicry, involuntary responses, emotional contagion, empathy.

Vocal Communication

King's Psychology Network: Animal Learning, Language, and Cognition,

Current Research Projects http://www.psyking.net/id31.htm
Jane Goodall Institute; http://www.janegoodall.org/
Sue Savage-Rumbaugh at the Language Research Center -

GA State University; http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwlrc
Lynn Miles and the Chantek Foundation; http://www.chantek.org/
Rob Shumaker and the Orang-utan Language Project at the National Zoo; http://natzoo.si.edu/News/shumaker.htm
Francine "Penny" Patterson, The Gorilla Foundation and Project Koko; http://www.koko.org/
Roger and Deborah Fouts and the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI) at

Central Washington University; http://www.cwu.edu/~cwuchci/welcome.html
Matsuzawa Tetsuro and the Primate Research Institute,

Kyoto University, Japan; http://www.pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/index.html, http://www.pri.kyoto-u-ac.jp/ai/index-E.htm
Irene Pepperberg and the Alex Foundation; http://www.alexfoundation.org/
The N'Kisi Project; http://www.sheldrake.org/nkisi
The Language and Culture of Crows; http://www.crows.net/
Dr. Ken Marten and Project Delphis - Dolphin Cognition Research; http://www.earthtrust.org/delphis.html
John C. Lilly and Interspecies Communication Between Man and Dolphin; http://deoxy.org/lilly.htm
Rupert Sheldrake; http://www.sheldrake.org/

Stimulus control and auditory discrimination learning sets in the bottlenose dolphin.
Herman LM, Arbeit WR. J Exp Anal Behav. 1973 May;19(3):379-394.
The learning efficiency of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin was evaluated using auditory discrimination learning-set tasks. Efficiency, as measured by the probability of a correct response on Trial 2 of a new discrete-trial, two-choice auditory discrimination problem, reached levels comparable to those attained by advanced species of nonhuman primates. Runs of errorless problems in some cases rivaled those reported for individual rhesus monkeys in visual discrimination learning-set tasks. This level of stimulus control of responses to new auditory discriminanda was attained through (a) the development of a sequential within-trial method for presentation of a pair of auditory discriminanda; (b) the extensive use of fading methods to train initial discriminations, followed by the fadeout of the use of fading; (c) the development of listening behavior through control of the animal's responses during projection of the auditory discriminanda; and (d) the use of highly discriminable auditory stimuli, by applying results of a parametric evaluation of discriminability of selected acoustic variables. Learning efficiency was tested using a cueing method on Trial 1 of each new discrimination, to allow the animal to identify the positive stimulus before its response. Efficiency was also tested with the more common blind baiting method, in which the Trial 1 response was reinforced on only a random half of the problems. Efficiency was high for both methods. The overall results were generally in keeping with exceptations of learning capacity based on the large size and high degree of cortical complexity of the brain of the bottlenose dolphin.
PMID: 16811670 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Auditory delayed matching in the bottlenose dolphin.
Herman LM, Gordon JA. J Exp Anal Behav. 1974 Jan;21(1):19-26.
A bottlenose dolphin, already highly proficient in two-choice auditory discriminations, was trained over a nine-day period on auditory delayed matching-to-sample and then tested on 346 unique matching problems, as a function of the delay between the sample and test sounds. Each problem used new sounds and was from five to 10 trials long, with the same sound used as the sample for all trials of a problem. At each trial, the sample was projected underwater for 2.5 sec, followed by a delay and then by a sequence of two 2.5-sec duration test sounds. One of the test sounds matched the sample and was randomly first or second in the sequence, and randomly appeared at either a left or right speaker. Responses to the locus of the matching test sound were reinforced. Over nine, varying-sized blocks of problems, the longest delay of a set of delays in a block was progressively increased from 15 sec initially to a final value of 120 sec. There was a progressive increase across the early blocks in the percentage of correct Trial 1 responses. A ceiling-level of 100% correct responses was then attained over the final six blocks, during which there were 169 successive Trial 1 responses bracketed by two Trial 1 errors (at 24- and 120-sec delays). Performance on trials beyond the first followed a similar trend. Finally, when the sample duration was decreased to 0.2 sec or less, matching performance on Trial 1 of new problems dropped to chance levels.
PMID: 4204143 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Discrimination of auditory temporal differences by the bottlenose dolphin and by the human.
Yunker MP, Herman LM. J Acoust Soc Am. 1974 Dec;56(6):1870-5.
PMID: 4443487 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Underwater frequency discrimination in the bottlenosed dolphin (1-140 kHz) and the human (1-8 kHz).
Thompson RK, Herman LM. J Acoust Soc Am. 1975 Apr;57(4):943-8
PMID: 1133262 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Bottle-nosed dolphin: double-slit pupil yields equivalent aerial and underwater diurnal acuity.
Herman LM, Peacock MF, Yunker MP, Madsen CJ. Science. 1975 Aug 22;189(4203):650-2.
In bright daylight, and at best viewing distances, the bottlenosed dolphin resolves visual gratings approximately equally well in air and in water. Aerial resolution improves with increased viewing distance, while underwater resolution improves with decreased viewing distance. The double-slit pipil overcomes the gross myopia in air measured by ophthalmoscope and produces the indicated effects of viewing distance.
PMID: 1162351 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Memory for lists of sounds by the bottle-nosed dolphin: convergence of memory processes with humans?
Thompson RK, Herman LM. Science. 1977 Feb 4;195(4277):501-3.
After listening to a list of as many as six discriminably different 2-second sounds, a bottle-nosed dolphin classified a subsequent probe sound as either "old" (from the list) or "new." The probability of recognizing an old probe was close to 1.0 if it matched the most recent sound in the list and decreased sigmoidally for successively earlier list sounds. Memory span was estimated to be at least four sounds. Overall probabilities of correctly classifying old and new probes corresponded closely, as if recognition decisions were made according to an optimum maximum likelihood criterion. The data bore many similarities to data obtained from humans tested on probe recognition tasks.
PMID: 835012 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Comprehension of sentences by bottlenosed dolphins.
Herman LM, Richards DG, Wolz JP. Cognition. 1984 Mar;16(2):129-219.
PMID: 6540652 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Vocal mimicry of computer-generated sounds and vocal labeling of objects by a bottlenosed dolphin, Tursiops truncatus.
Richards DG, Wolz JP, Herman LM. J Comp Psychol. 1984 Mar;98(1):10-28.
A bottlenosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was trained to mimic computer-generated "model" sounds, using a whistle mode of vocalization. Prior to training, the whistle sounds of this dolphin were limited to a few stereotyped forms, none of which resembled the model sounds. After training, high-fidelity imitations were obtained of model sounds having (a) moderately or widely swept, slow-rate frequency modulation (1-2 Hz), (b) narrowly or moderately swept frequency modulation at moderate to rapid rates (3-11 Hz), (c) square-wave frequency transitions, and (d) unmodulated (pure-tone) waveforms. New models, not heard previously, could be mimicked immediately, often with good fidelity, including mimicry of amplitude variation that had not been explicitly reinforced during training. Subsets of familiar models were mimicked with high reliability in repeated tests. In additional training, control of the mimic response was transferred from the acoustic model to objects shown the dolphin (e.g., a ball or a hoop) so that, in effect, the dolphin gave unique vocal labels to those objects. In a test of accuracy and reliability of labeling, correct vocal labels were given on 91% of 167 trials comprised of five different objects presented in random order. The dolphin's ability for vocal mimicry compared favorably with that of the more versatile mimic birds, and it contrasted sharply with the apparent lack of vocal mimicry ability in terrestrial mammals other than humans. The ability to label objects vocally was similar to abilities shown for some birds and similar, in principle, to abilities of great apes trained in visual languages to label objects through gestures or other visual symbols.
PMID: 6705501 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Reporting presence or absence of named objects by a language-trained dolphin.
Herman LM, Forestell PH. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 1985 Winter;9(4):667-81.
Referential "reporting" was defined as the transmission of information about the presence or absence of symbolically-referenced real-world objects. In Experiment 1 two bottlenosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), trained in earlier studies to carry out instructions conveyed by imperative sentences expressed in artificial gestural or acoustic languages, each gave spontaneous indications that an object referenced in an imperative was absent from their tank. In Experiment 2 the dolphin tutored in the gestural language was taught to make explicit reports of object absence by pressing a "No" paddle in response to imperatives referencing an absent object. Absence was reported correctly on 84% of 97 missing-object probes inserted at random intervals among 598 sentences referring to objects that were present. Reports were typically made after active search of the tank for an average of 15.0 sec. False reports, that objects present were absent, were few (7.5%). In Experiment 3, the dolphin was taught an interrogative sentence form that enabled us to ask direct questions about the presence or absence of specific objects. Responses by the dolphin on the No paddle indicated absence, while responses on a "Yes" paddle indicated presence. From one to three objects were shown the dolphin and then placed in the tank in a discrete-trial procedure. In response to the interrogative, reports or object presence or absence were better than 91% correct with a single object in the tank and either that object or some other object referenced; accuracy declined to 72-78% correct with three objects present, but was still well above chance. Several lines of evidence suggested that the dolphin was attempting to remember which objects it had been shown, rather than conducting an active environmental search as in Experiment 2. The memory strategy became less efficient as the number of objects to be remembered increased. Overall, the results evidenced the language-trained dolphin's understanding of references to present or absent objects, its ability to inventory its environment to seek information about those objects, and its ability to report its obtained knowledge to others.
PMID: 4080284 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Bottlenosed dolphin and human recognition of veridical and degraded video displays of an artificial gestural language.
Herman LM, Morrel-Samuels P, Pack AA. J Exp Psychol Gen. 1990 Jun;119(2):215-30.
Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory, University of Hawaii, Honolulu 96814.
2 bottlenosed dolphins proficient in interpreting gesture language signs viewed veridical and degraded gestures via TV without explicit training. In Exp. 1, dolphins immediately understood most gestures: Performance was high throughout degradations successively obscuring the head, torso, arms, and fingers, though deficits occurred for gestures degraded to a point-light display (PLD) of the signer's hands. In Exp. 2, humans of varying gestural fluency saw the PLD and veridical gestures from Exp. 1. Again, performance declined in the PLD condition. Though the dolphin recognized gestures as accurately as fluent humans, effects of the gesture's formational properties were not identical for humans and dolphin. Results suggest that the dolphin uses a network of semantic and gestural representations, that bottom-up processing predominates when the dolphin's short-term memory is taxed, and that recognition is affected by variables germane to grammatical category, short-term memory, and visual perception.
PMID: 2141354 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Responses to anomalous gestural sequences by a language-trained dolphin: evidence for processing of semantic relations and syntactic information.

Herman LM, Kuczaj SA 2nd, Holder MD. J Exp Psychol Gen. 1993 Jun;122(2):184-94.
Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu 96814.
This study examined the responses of a bottlenosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) to "normal" (semantically and syntactically correct) sequences of gestures and to anomalous sequences given within an artificial gestural language highly familiar to the animal. Anomalous sequences violated the semantic rules or syntactic constraints of the language. The dolphin discriminated anomalous from normal sequences in that rejections (refusals to respond) occurred to some anomalous sequences but never to normal sequences. Rejections rarely occurred, however, if the anomalous sequence contained a subset of gestures that would comprise a normal unit if joined together. Such units were typically perceived by the dolphin and responded to even if they consisted of gestures that were not sequentially adjacent. All semantic elements of a sequence were processed by the dolphin in relation to other elements before the dolphin organized its final response. The results show the importance of both semantic properties and semantic relations of the referents of the gestures and of syntactic (ordering) constraints in the dolphin's interpretations of the anomalies.
PMID: 8315399 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Sensory integration in the bottlenosed dolphin: immediate recognition of complex shapes across the senses of echolocation and vision.
Pack AA, Herman LM. J Acoust Soc Am. 1995 Aug;98(2 Pt 1):722-33.
Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory, University of Hawaii, Honolulu 96814, USA.
In matching-to-sample tests, a bottlenosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) was found capable of immediately recognizing a variety of complexly shaped objects both within the senses of vision or echolocation and, also, across these two senses. The immediacy of recognition indicated that shape information registers directly in the dolphin's perception of objects through either vision or echolocation, and that these percepts are readily shared or integrated across the senses. Accuracy of intersensory recognition was nearly errorless regardless of whether the sample objects were presented to the echolocation sense and the alternatives to the visual sense (E-V matching) or the reverse, with samples presented to the visual sense and alternatives to the echolocation sense (V-E matching). Furthermore, during V-E matching, the dolphin was equally facile at recognition whether the sample objects exposed to vision were "live," presented in air in the real world, or were images displayed on a television screen placed behind an underwater window. Overall, the results suggested that what a dolphin "sees" through echolocation is functionally similar to what it sees through vision.
PMID: 7642811 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Seeing through sound: dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) perceive the spatial structure of objects through echolocation.
Herman LM, Pack AA, Hoffmann-Kuhnt M. J Comp Psychol. 1998 Sep;112(3):292-305.
Psychology Department, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA. lherman@hawaii.edu
Experiment 1 tested a dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) for cross-modal recognition of 25 unique pairings of 8 familiar, complexly shaped objects, using the senses of echolocation and vision. Cross-modal recognition was errorless or nearly so for 24 of the 25 pairings under both visual to echoic matching (V-E) and echoic to visual matching (E-V). First-trial recognition occurred for 20 pairings under V-E and for 24 under E-V. Echoic decision time under V-E averaged only 1.88 s. Experiment 2 tested 4 new pairs of objects for 24 trials of V-E and 24 trials of E-V without any prior exposure of these objects. Two pairs yielded performance significantly above chance in both V-E and E-V. Also, the dolphin matched correctly on 7 of 8 1st trials with these pairs. The results support a capacity for direct echoic perception of object shape by this species and demonstrate that prior object exposure is not required for spontaneous cross-modal recognition.
PMID: 9770316 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) comprehend the referential character of the human pointing gesture.
Herman LM, Abichandani SL, Elhajj AN, Herman EY, Sanchez JL, Pack AA. J Comp Psychol. 1999 Dec;113(4):347-64.
Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, USA
The authors tested a dolphin's (Tursiops truncatus) understanding of human manual pointing gestures to 3 distal objects located to the left of, to the right of, or behind the dolphin. The human referred to an object through a direct point (Pd), a cross-body point (Px), or a familiar symbolic gesture (S). In Experiment 1, the dolphin responded correctly to 80% of Pds toward laterally placed objects but to only 40% of Pds to the object behind. Responding to objects behind improved to 88% in Experiment 2 after exaggerated pointing was briefly instituted. Spontaneous comprehension of Pxs also was demonstrated. In Experiment 3, the human produced a sequence of 2 Pds, 2 Pxs, 2 Ss, or all 2-way combinations of these 3 to direct the dolphin to take the object referenced second to the object referenced first. Accuracy ranged from 68% to 77% correct (chance = 17%). These results established that the dolphin understood the referential character of the human manual pointing gesture.
PMID: 10608559 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Generalization of 'same-different' classification abilities in bottlenosed dolphins.
Mercado E, Killebrew DA, Pack AA, Mácha IV IV, Herman LM. Behav Processes. 2000 Aug 17;50(2-3):79-94.
Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory, 1129 Ala Moana Boulevard, 96814, Honolulu, HI, USA
Two bottlenosed dolphins taught to classify pairs of three-dimensional objects as either same or different were tested with novel stimulus sets to determine how well their classification abilities would generalize. Both dolphins were immediately able to classify novel pairs of planar objects, differing only in shape, as same or different. When tested on sets of three objects consisting of either all different objects or of two identical objects and one different object, both dolphins proved to be able to classify 'all different' sets as different and 'not all different' sets as same, at levels significantly above chance. These data suggest that dolphins can use knowledge about similarity-based classification strategies gained from previous training to perform successfully in a variety of novel same-different classification tasks. Visual classificatory abilities of dolphins appear to be comparable to those that have been demonstrated in primates.
PMID: 10969185 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

The object behind the echo: dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) perceive object shape globally through echolocation.
Pack AA, Herman LM, Hoffmann-Kuhnt M, Branstetter BK. Behav Processes. 2002 May 28;58(1-2):1-26.
Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory, 1129 Ala Moana Boulevard, 96814, Honolulu, HI, USA
Two experiments tested a bottlenosed dolphin's ability to match objects across echolocation and vision. Matching was tested from echolocation sample to visual alternatives (E-V) and from visual sample to echolocation alternatives (V-E). In Experiment 1, the dolphin chose a match from among three-alternative objects that differed in overall (global) shape, but shared several 'local' features with the sample. The dolphin conducted a right-to-left serial nonexhaustive search among the alternatives, stopping when a match was encountered. It matched correctly on 93% of V-E trials and on 99% of E-V trials with completely novel combinations of objects despite the presence of many overlapping features. In Experiment 2, a fourth alternative was added in the form of a paddle that the dolphin could press if it decided that none of the three-alternatives matched the sample. When a match was present, the dolphin selected it on 94% of V-E trials and 95% of E-V trials. When a match was absent, the dolphin pressed the paddle on 74% and 76%, respectively, of V-E and E-V trials. The approximate 25% error rate, which consisted of a choice of one of the three non-matching alternatives in lieu of the paddle press, increased from right to center to left alternative object, reflecting successively later times in the dolphin's search path. A weakening in memory for the sample seemed the most likely cause of this error pattern. Overall, the results gave strong support to the hypothesis that the echolocating dolphin represents an object by its global appearance rather than by local features.
PMID: 11955768 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Bottlenosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) comprehend the referent of both static and dynamic human gazing and pointing in an object-choice task.
Pack AA, Herman LM. J Comp Psychol. 2004 Jun;118(2):160-71.
Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA. pack@hawaii.edu
The authors tested 2 bottlenosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) for their understanding of human-directed gazing or pointing in a 2-alternative object-choice task. A dolphin watched a human informant either gazing at or pointing toward 1 of 2 laterally placed objects and was required to perform a previously indicated action to that object. Both static and dynamic gaze, as well as static and dynamic direct points and cross-body points, yielded errorless or nearly errorless performance. Gaze with the informant's torso obscured (only the head was shown) produced no performance decrement, but gaze with eyes only resulted in chance performance. The results revealed spontaneous understanding of human gaze accomplished through head orientation, with or without the human informant's eyes obscured, and demonstrated that gaze-directed cues were as effective as point-directed cues in the object-choice task.
PMID: 15250803 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Song copying by humpback whales: themes and variations.

Mercado E 3rd, Herman LM, Pack AA. Anim Cogn. 2005 Apr;8(2):93-102. Epub 2004 Oct 15.
Department of Psychology, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Park Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA. emiii@buffalo.edu
Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) produce long, structured sequences of sound underwater, commonly called "songs." Humpbacks progressively modify their songs over time in ways that suggest that individuals are copying song elements that they hear being used by other singers. Little is known about the factors that determine how whales learn from their auditory experiences. Song learning in birds is better understood and appears to be constrained by stable core attributes such as species-specific sound repertoires and song syntax. To clarify whether similar constraints exist for song learning by humpbacks, we analyzed changes over 14 years in the sounds used by humpback whales singing in Hawaiian waters. We found that although the properties of individual sounds within songs are quite variable over time, the overall distribution of certain acoustic features within the repertoire appears to be stable. In particular, our findings suggest that species-specific constraints on temporal features of song sounds determine song form, whereas spectral variability allows whales to flexibly adapt song elements.
PMID: 15490289 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Acoustic properties of humpback whale songs.
Au WW, Pack AA, Lammers MO, Herman LM, Deakos MH, Andrews K. J Acoust Soc Am. 2006 Aug;120(2):1103-10.
Marine Mammal Research Program, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, P.O. Box 1106, Kailua, Hawaii 96734, USA. wau@hawaii.edu
A vertical array of five hydrophones was used to measure the acoustic field in the vertical plane of singing humpback whales. Once a singer was located, two swimmers with snorkel gear were deployed to determine the orientation of the whale and position the boat so that the array could be deployed in front of the whale at a minimum standoff distance of at least 10 m. The spacing of the hydrophones was 7 m with the deepest hydrophone deployed at a depth of 35 m. An eight-channel TASCAM recorder with a bandwidth of 24 kHz was used to record the hydrophone signals. The location (distance and depth) of the singer was determined by computing the time of arrival differences between the hydrophone signals. The maximum source level varied between individual units in a song, with values between 151 and 173 dB re 1 microPa. One of the purposes of this study was to estimate potential sound exposure of nearby conspecifics. The acoustic field determined by considering the relative intensity of higher frequency harmonics in the signals indicated that the sounds are projected in the horizontal direction despite the singer being canted head downward anywhere from about 25 degrees to 90 degrees. High-frequency harmonics extended beyond 24 kHz, suggesting that humpback whales may have an upper frequency limit of hearing as high as 24 kHz.
PMID: 16938996 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) echoic angular discrimination: effects of object separation and complexity.
Branstetter BK, Mevissen SJ, Pack AA, Herman LM, Roberts SR, Carsrud LK. J Acoust Soc Am. 2007 Jan;121(1):626-35.
Psychology Department, University of Hawaii, Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822-2294, USA. branstet@hawaii.edu
A bottlenose dolphin was tested on its ability to echoically discriminate horizontal angular differences between arrays of vertically oriented air-filled PVC rods. The blindfolded dolphin was required to station in a submerged hoop 2 radial m from the stimuli and indicate if an array with two rods (S+) was to the right or the left of a single rod (S-). The angular separation between the two rods (thetaw) was held constant within each experiment while the angle between the S+ and the S-stimuli (thetab) varied to produce angular differences (deltatheta= thetab-thetaw) ranging from 0.25 to 4 degrees. In experiment I, thetaw was maintained at 2 degrees and in experiment II, thetaw was maintained at 4 degrees. Resulting 75% correct thresholds (method of constant stimuli) were 1.5 and 0.7 degrees, respectively. The two main findings of this study are: (1) decreasing the number of targets does not aid in localization, and (2) increasing the space between the rods enhances localization. Taken as a whole, the experiments suggest dolphins have a well-developed ability to resolve spatial information through sonar.
PMID: 17297816 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The dolphin's (Tursiops truncatus) understanding of human gazing and pointing: knowing what and where.
Pack AA, Herman LM. J Comp Psychol. 2007 Feb;121(1):34-45.
Dolphin Institute, Honolulu, HI 96814, USA. pack@hawaii.edu
The authors tested whether the understanding by dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) of human pointing and head-gazing cues extends to knowing the identity of an indicated object as well as its location. In Experiment 1, the dolphins Phoenix and Akeakamai processed the identity of a cued object (of 2 that were present), as shown by their success in selecting a matching object from among 2 alternatives remotely located. Phoenix was errorless on first trials in this task. In Experiment 2, Phoenix reliably responded to a cued object in alternate ways, either by matching it or by acting directly on it, with each type of response signaled by a distinct gestural command given after the indicative cue. She never confused matching and acting. In Experiment 3, Akeakamai was able to process the geometry of pointing cues (but not head-gazing cues), as revealed by her errorless responses to either a proximal or distal object simultaneously present, when each object was indicated only by the angle at which the informant pointed. The overall results establish that these dolphins could identify, through indicative cues alone, what a human is attending to as well as where.
PMID: 17324073 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Cetaceans have complex brains for complex cognition.

Marino L, Connor RC, Fordyce RE, Herman LM, Hof PR, Lefebvre L, Lusseau D, McCowan B, Nimchinsky EA, Pack AA, Rendell L, Reidenberg JS, Reiss D, Uhen MD, Van der Gucht E, Whitehead H. PLoS Biol. 2007 May;5(5):e139.
Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America. lmarino@emory.edu
PMID: 17503965 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Neural Enhanced Animals as a Tool in Espionage

CIA recruited cat to bug Russians,
by Charlotte Edwardes, Telegraph Media Group Limited 2008,
THE CIA tried to uncover the Kremlin's deepest secrets during the 1960s by turning cats into walking bugging devices, recently declassified documents show. In one experiment during the Cold War a cat, dubbed Acoustic Kitty, was wired up for use as an eavesdropping platform. It was hoped that the animal - which was surgically altered to accommodate transmitting and control devices - could listen to secret conversations from window sills, park benches or dustbins. By coincidence, in 1966, a British film called Spy With a Cold Nose featured a dog wired up to eavesdrop on the Russians.

Auditory Information from Subcortical Electrical Stimulation in Cats,
by Philip C. Nieder and William D. Neff, Science 31 March 1961 Vol. 133. no. 3457, pp. 1010 - 1011DOI: 10.1126/science.133.3457.1010. Laboratory of Physiological Psychology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Animals trained to respond to sound stimuli were found to perform the learned response when they were electrically stimulated through electrodes chronically implanted in subcortical structures of the auditory pathway. Other animals trained to respond to electrical stimulation of subcortical auditory structures showed differential transfer effects depending on the positions of the stimulating electrodes.

MI5 records reveal gerbil spycatcher plan;
BBC News UK, Saturday, 30 June, 2001
Security Service MI5 once planned to recruit a team of specially-trained gerbils as a secret weapon to sniff out spies, it has been revealed. The animals were to help interrogate suspects because they could use their acute sense of smell to detect a rise in adrenalin - the chemical released in sweat when people feel under stress.

Here come the ratbots,
by Dr David Whitehouse, BBC News Online science editor, Wednesday, 1 May, 2002,
Guided rats controlled through implants in their brains could one day be used to search for landmines or buried victims of earthquakes, scientists say. The research team is led by Dr Sanjiv Talwar, of the State University of New York, US.

A multi-channel telemetry system for brain microstimulation in freely roaming animals.,
by Shaohua Xua Sanjiv K. Talwar Emerson S. Hawley Lei Li John K. Chapin,
Journal of Neuroscience Methods 12 Sept. 2003
Pioneering work on telestimulation devices began in the 1930s (Light and Chaffee, 1934; Loucks, 1934), and continued for many years thereafter (Delgado et al., 1975; Gengerelli, 1961; Greer and Riggle, 1957; Lafferty and Farrell, 1949; Warner et al., 1968). These devices have limitations, however, that tend to prevent them from fulfilling the requirements of modern neurophysiological investigations: (1) Most provided only a single channel of stimulation allowing only one brain site to be excited at a time. (2) The fidelity of the transmission was usually poor. For example, the stimulus intensity tended to be dependent on the amplitude of the received analog signal, which varies with transmission fidelity. (3) Even though investigators put much effort into reducing the size and weight of the receiver that was implanted or mounted on the animal, the excessive size and weight of the stimulus generators and transmitters, plus the high power required to maintain transmission fidelity, confined the use only to specific laboratory locations. (4) Most of the systems generated mono-phasic pulses, which can cause electrolytic tissue injury and electrode damage (Lilly, 1961). This is less desirable than modern devices that use charge-balanced biphasic pulses. Little progress has been made over the last two decades in developing miniaturized multi-channel brain tele-stimulation devices for small animal research. Here, we describe the development of a novel miniaturized digital telestimulation system that has enabled us to remotely deliver stimulation to multiple brain sites of freely moving animals (rats).

Sci/Tech: Computer uses cat's brain to see,
Scientists have literally seen the world through cat's eyes,
by Dr David Whitehouse, BBC News Science, Oct 8, 1999 Published at 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK
According to a paper published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Garrett Stanley, Yang Dang and Fei Li, from the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, have been able to "reconstruct natural scenes with recognizable moving objects". The researchers attached electrodes to 177 cells in the so-called thalamus region of the cat's brain and monitored their activity.

Reconstruction of Natural Scenes from Ensemble Responses in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus.,
by Garrett B. Stanley, Fei F. Li, and Yang Dan , Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Division of Neurobiology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, The Journal of Neuroscience, September 15, 1999, 19 ( 18 ) :pp. 8036-8042
A major challenge in studying sensory processing is to understand the meaning of the neural messages encoded in the spiking activity of neurons. From the recorded responses in a sensory circuit, what information can we extract about the outside world? Here we used a linear decoding technique to reconstruct spatiotemporal visual inputs from ensemble responses in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the cat. From the activity of 177 cells, we have reconstructed natural scenes with recognizable moving objects. The quality of reconstruction depends on the number of cells. For each point in space, the quality of reconstruction begins to saturate at six to eight pairs of on and off cells, approaching the estimated coverage factor in the LGN of the cat. Thus, complex visual inputs can be reconstructed with a simple decoding algorithm, and these analyses provide a basis for understanding ensemble coding in the early visual pathway.

Seeing through sound: dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) perceive the spatial structure of objects through echolocation.
Herman LM, Pack AA, Hoffmann-Kuhnt M. J Comp Psychol. 1998 Sep;112(3):292-305.
Psychology Department, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, USA. lherman@hawaii.edu
Experiment 1 tested a dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) for cross-modal recognition of 25 unique pairings of 8 familiar, complexly shaped objects, using the senses of echolocation and vision. Cross-modal recognition was errorless or nearly so for 24 of the 25 pairings under both visual to echoic matching (V-E) and echoic to visual matching (E-V). First-trial recognition occurred for 20 pairings under V-E and for 24 under E-V. Echoic decision time under V-E averaged only 1.88 s. Experiment 2 tested 4 new pairs of objects for 24 trials of V-E and 24 trials of E-V without any prior exposure of these objects. Two pairs yielded performance significantly above chance in both V-E and E-V. Also, the dolphin matched correctly on 7 of 8 1st trials with these pairs. The results support a capacity for direct echoic perception of object shape by this species and demonstrate that prior object exposure is not required for spontaneous cross-modal recognition.
PMID: 9770316 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Chinese develop remote-controlled pigeons, A flying world first,
by Lester Haines, The Register, Published Tuesday 27th February 2007 11:18 GMT
Xinhua news agency explained today that boffins at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Center at Shandong University of Science and Technology were able to "command [the pigeons] to fly right or left or up or down. It elaborated: "The implants stimulate different areas of the pigeon's brain according to signals sent by the scientists via computer, and force the bird to comply with their commands."

Squirrel 'spies' seized, The Times of India, 16 Jul 2007, 0000 hrs IST,
AGENCIES Police in Iran are reported to have taken 14 squirrels into custody - because they are suspected of spying. The rodents were found near the Iranian border allegedly equipped with eavesdropping devices, according to Sky News . Reports said that the squirrels were kitted out by foreign intelligence services - were weeks ago by police officers. But if true, this would not be the first time animals have been used to spy.

http://stinet.dtic.mil/stinet/jsp/advanced-tr.jsp (search: electronarcosis)
Title: Shark Dart Electronic Circuit.
AD Number: AD0164212 Corporate Author: DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON D C
Personal Author: Blanc,Clarence G. Report Date: December 14, 1971 Media: 4 Pages(s)
21 - JOURNAL ARTICLES ANNOUNCEMENT ONLY Report Classification: (Not Available).
Source Code: 110050 From the collection: Technical Reports.
Abstract: The present invention is directed to providing a circuit for inducing electronarcosis in a marine predator and includes a source of DC power connected to a switching inverter. An astable multivibrator, having a predetermined switching rate, sequentially completes the switching inverter circuit, via a switching transistor, serially-connected in the inverter's feedback loops, to provide a partial duty-cycle conserving battery power and prolonging the effective life of the shark dart.

the Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP).
Everyone is familiar with security patrol dogs. You may even know that because of their exceptionally keen sense of smell, dogs like beagles are also used to detect drugs and bombs, or land mines. But just as the dog's keen sense of smell makes it ideal for detecting land mines, the U.S. Navy has found that the biological sonar of dolphins, called echolocation, makes them uniquely effective at locating sea mines so they can be avoided or removed. Other marine mammals like the California sea lion also have demonstrated the ability to mark and retrieve objects for the Navy in the ocean. In fact, marine mammals are so important to the Navy that there is an entire program dedicated to studying, training, and deploying them. It is appropriately called the Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP).

  • Object Recovery System: Initially called Quick Find, this system first demonstrated its capabilities when it recovered an ASROC (Anti Submarine Rocket) MK 17 from 180 feet of water in November of 1970. The MK 5 MMS became operational in 1975 and uses California sea lions to locate and attach recovery hardware to underwater objects such as practice mines. Some of these mines are equipped with a device called a pinger that sends out a beeping sound to help the sea lion locate them. For this, the sea lion may have to dive to depths of 500 feet or more. At the recovery site, the sea lion is sent over the side and given a bite plate to which an attachment device is mounted. The sea lion locates the object by using its exceptional hearing to locate the pinger attached to the shape. A strong line tied to the bite plate is payed out from the boat as the sea lion swims down to the object and attaches the device. To be sure the connection is good, the sea lion tests it by pulling back on it a few times. The sea lion then releases the bite plate and returns to the boat for a well-deserved reward of fish while a crane is used to pull the object off the bottom.
  • Force Protection: Dolphins and sea lions cannot be outmatched as sentries in the water. In the MK 6 MMS, dolphins and sea lions effectively protect piers, ships, harbors, and anchorages against unauthorized swimmers, SCUBA divers, closed-circuit divers, and swimmer delivery vehicles. MK 6 MMS was first operationally deployed with dolphins during the Vietnam War from 1971 to 1972 and Bahrain from 1986 to 1987. MK 6 has now been expanded to include specially trained sea lions to locate water-borne intruders and suspicious objects near piers and ships that pose a possible threat to military forces in the area. They have been shown to be effective under and around ships, piers, and in open water. The sea lions were deployed to Bahrain as part of the effort to support missions under Operation Enduring Freedom.
  • Bioacoustics: Dolphins have highly sophisticated, natural sonar (biosonar) that allows them to detect objects in the most complex of acoustic environments. By emitting broadband high frequency clicks and listening to the echoes of the clicks as they bounce off objects, dolphins can acoustically "see" their aquatic environment in amazing detail. The dolphin's biosonar system has yet to be matched by any manufactured device. After decades of conducting research into the dolphin's biosonar capabilities (research that has literally defined what we do know about dolphin biosonar), the NMMP's Biosonar Program has constructed the world's first biomimetic (think bio mimic) sonar to try to emulate dolphin sonar and incorporate search strategies that are specifically effective in the noisy near shore environment.Hearing: The potential effects of anthropogenic (human-generated) sound on marine mammals have gained the attention of lawmakers, the military, and conservation groups. How much noise is too much? The NMMP's scientists and animals are helping to answer that question by defining acoustic safety criteria: first, to ensure the safety of Navy animals and second, to provide scientific data that can be applied to marine mammals in the wild.

SSC San Diego TD 627 Revision D, Annotated Bibliography of Publications from the U.S. Navy's Marine Mammal Program, May 1998, 2. NEURAL NETWORKS
Example: A biomimetic neural network was used to model a bottlenose dolphin's ability to recognize aspect-dependent targets. Researchers used echo trains recorded during the dolphin trials to train an Integrator Gateway Network (IGN) to discriminate among the targets using echo spectra. The dolphin and the IGN learned to recognize geometric targets, even though orientation could vary. Results support the notion that ensonified underwater objects with complex shapes and echoes may be reliably classified using neural network architectures that are motivated through understanding of dolphin echolocation signals and performance.

Using a biomimetric neural net to model dolphin echolocation,
by Helweg, D.A.; Roitblat, H.L.; Nachtigall, P.E., 1993. Proceedings.,
First New Zealand International Two-Stream Conference on Artificial Neural Networks and Expert Systems, Volume , Issue , 24-26 Nov 1993 Page(s):247 - 251, DOI=10.1109/ANNES.1993.323032
Summary: A biomimetic neural network was used to model the ability of a bottle nosed dolphin to recognize aspect-dependent geometric objects. Each echo train was recorded and an Integrator Gateway Network (IGN) was trained to discriminate among the objects using spectra of the object echoes. The IGN classifies objects using an average-like sum of the spectra from successive echoes. However, combining echoes may reduce classification accuracy if the spectra vary from echo to echo. The dolphin and the IGN learned to recognize the geometric objects, even though orientation was free to vary. The process of recognition using cumulated echoes was robust with respect to nonstationary raw input. The results were interpreted as evidence for the formation of aspect-independent representations of the objects

US 'funding stealth shark project',
The US Defence Department is funding research into neural implants with the ultimate hope of turning sharks into "stealth spies" capable of gliding undetected through the ocean, the British weekly New Scientist says. "The Pentagon hopes to exploit sharks' natural ability to glide quietly through the water, sense delicate electrical gradients and follow chemical trails," says the report, carried in next Saturday's New Scientist.

Stealth sharks to patrol the high seas
by Susan Brown, From New Scientist Print Edition, 01 March 2006,
The Pentagon hopes to exploit sharks' natural ability to glide quietly through the water, sense delicate electrical gradients and follow chemical trails. By remotely guiding the sharks' movements, they hope to transform the animals into stealth spies, perhaps capable of following vessels without being spotted. The project, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), based in Arlington, Virginia, was presented at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, last week.

Military Plans Cyborg Sharks,
by Bill Christensen, posted: 07 March 2006 06:34 am ET
Given that sharks have senses that humans don't have (like the ability to sense electromagnetic fields), it could open up some interesting uses. The implant consists of multi-channel neural ensemble readers and stimulators, diverse controllers and sensors. In addition, the DARPA researchers want to use their setup to detect and decipher the neural patterns that correspond to shark activities like sensing an ocean current, a particular scent in the water or an electrical field. If they can succeed in these experiments, it might be possible to control a free-swimming shark; it could be trained to track enemy ships or submarines, or to detect underwater mines or cables.

http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/SFgate/SFgate?language=English&verbose=0&listenv=table&application=os06&convert=&converthl=&refinequery=& formintern=&formextern=&transquery=shark&_lines=&multiple=0&descriptor=/data/epubs/wais/indexes
/os06/os065012940Autonomous SharkTag with Neural Reading and Stimulation Capability for Open-ocean ExperimentsHTMLlocalhost:0/data/epubs/wais/indexes/os06/os0610288619 10291559/data2/epubs/wais/data/os06/os06.txt
1630h, AN: OS45Q-05
Autonomous Shark Tag with Neural Reading and Stimulation Capability for Open-ocean Experiments.,
by W.J. Gomes IIIth. D. Perez Jr. & J.A. Catipovic, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, 1176 Howell Street, Newport, RI 02841 United States
NUWC is developing a fish tag whose goal is attaining behavior control of host animals via neural implants. The tag is intended for long-term open ocean field efforts investigating viability of animal behavior control and its utility for networked sensing and data acquisition. The tag is centered on a multi-channel neural ensemble reader, a processor to interpret the readings in real-time, and a multi-channel stimulator, intended for both micro and macro stimulation. Additional capabilities include an undersea navigation/tracking system, acoustic and RF communication capabilities, a sensitive multi-channel Electric field measurement sensor, and a range of environmental sensors, including ph, heading and motion sensors, temperature, pressure and chemical injection micro-pumps. The design is field-reconfigurable, modular, and allows multiple sensor and controller variants to be easily configured. Ongoing work on energy harvesting methods to power the tag will be discussed.

Through a barn owl’s eyes: interactions between scene content and visual attention.,
by Shay Ohayon Wolf Harmening Hermann Wagner Ehud Rivlin Received: 31 August 2007 / Accepted: 22 October 2007 / Published online: 8 December 2007© Springer-Verlag 2007
Abstract: In this study we investigated visual attention properties of freely behaving barn owls, using a miniature wireless camera attached to their heads. The tubular eye structure of barn owls makes them ideal subjects for this research since it limits their eyemovements. Recording in various types of environments revealed significant statistical differences of low level image properties at the image fixation area compared to values extracted at random image patches. These differences are in agreement with results obtained in primates in similar studies. To investigate the role of saliency and its contribution to drawing the owl’s attention, we used a popular bottom-up computational model. Saliency values at the image fixation area were typically greater than at random patches, yet were only 20% out of the maximal saliency value, suggesting a top-down modulation of gaze control.

Neural Enhanced Insects as a Sensor Platform:

Insects can do many things that people can't,
by Eric Talmadoe AP, date google cached: 4 Jan 2008.
"Insects can do many things that people can't", said Assistant Professor Isao Shimoyama, head of the bio-robot research team at Tokyo University. "The potential applications of this work for mankind could be immense." Within a few years, Shimoyama says, electronically controlled insects carrying mini-cameras or other sensory devices could be used for a variety of sensitive missions - like crawling through earthquake rubble to search for victims, or slipping under doors on espionage surveillance.

DARPA FACT FILE, A Compendium of DARPA Programs, April 2002, Brain Machine Interface pp.43, The Controlled Biological and Biomimetic Systems program leverages the extraordinary capabilities of biological systems for military and dual-use applications. One program thrust is to actively collect information from insect populations to map areas for biohazards, such as industrial chemicals and biowarfare threats. Field trials are planned to lure and trap insects for identification of environmental pathogens. Tests have shown that insects will collect airborne bacterial spores on their bodies during flight. Honeybee demonstrations are planned to map for explosives at Defense installations scheduled for transfer to non-Federal entities.

Remote Control Minds: Light flashes direct fruit fly behavior,
by Christen Brownlee, Science News, Vol. 167, No. 15, April 9, 2005, p. 228.
Researchers have exerted a little mind control over fruit flies by designing and installing genetic 'remote controls' within the insects' brains. Remote control of behavior through genetically targeted photostimulation of neurons.

Hybrid Insect MEMS Proposer’s Day,
Amit Lal, Program Manager, DARPAMTO, CSAC, MX, HERMIT, NGIMG, March 24, 2006, HIMEMS Proposers Day, March 24, 2006, Amit Lal, DARPAMTO.VISION: Create technology to reliably integrate microsystems payloads on insects to enable insect cyborgs
OBJECTIVES: Develop technology to enable highly coupled electro mechanical interfaces to insect anatomy and Demonstrate MEMS platforms for electronic locomotion control, power harvesting from insect, and eliminate extraneous biological functions. Harvard Entomologist: Carroll Williams "DARPA Program : Use object insertion ability into pupas to reliably insert microsystems (instead of glass tube) for insect control"
  • Long distance missions: Monarchs can travel for 3000 miles without feeding for 75 days
  • Fast missions: Dragonflies can travel at 45 mph for 23 hours
  • Huge payloads: Thysania Agrippina Wingspan 25cm Larval hostplants = Fabaceae, Legumes Brazil
  • Airborne missions: Cocytius duponchel Wingspan 11 - 15cm, Has been collected at 11,000 feet in La Paz, Bolivia
  • Communications: Lowpower RF and sonic microsystems
  • Sensing: Low power CMOS gas sensors, imagers, acoustic signatures, radiation sensors
  • Navigation: Low power inertial sensors, low power GPS
  • Power generation: Vibration power scavenging, (Micro) batteries, Thermoelectrics