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[Issue] Austrian researchers use dog-brain game with touch screen

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Neurologists and doctors strongly recommend that a brain-to-computer game can make people's brains work without interruption. Austrian researchers focused on this and used the touch screen to play a brain game on dogs.

The Clevel Dog Lab team, based in Vienna, conducted a game called Sudoku, targeting 100 Border Collie breeds and 115 different breeds of dogs. Sudoku is a game that helps people use and develop their brain, and the researchers wanted to see if brain activity could help extend the life span of dogs.

Four-step training

The researchers first performed snacking training when the dog touched the touchscreen with a nose or paw so that the dog would become accustomed to the touchscreen. The dogs were trained to press the touch screen instead of stepping on the snacked pipe.

The next step was to train the dog to connect snacks with images on the screen. When the circle of colorful colors appeared on the screen, the owner of the dog gave a toothpaste snack to the circle. The dogs pressed the circle of the touch screen with their nose and tongue to lick the snack. In the third step, I was training to touch the circle with no snacks.

When a yellow circle appeared in the upper left corner and the dog touched the yellow circle, snacks appeared in the lower pipe. When the yellow circle moved in the other direction, when the dog touched the yellow circle, a snack appeared.

In the fourth training phase, two stimuli were provided. When a dog chooses the right stimulus, a snack comes out. If you select the wrong stimulus, the screen becomes blank and the same process is repeated again.

Enrichment

Interaction between dog and computer improved the cognitive abilities of aged dogs. In other words, mental and physical stimulation slows aging of dogs.

When mental and physical stimuli are interrupted, the dog ages quickly. As the aging of dogs accelerates, the quality of life of dogs decreases and the bond between dogs and owners is weakened.

The researchers conducted research to detect, delay, or prevent dog cognitive dysfunction and dementia early. This is almost identical to the human Alzheimer's. Liza Balis, who led the study, said dogs can learn and solve abstract and difficult tasks. And if there is a way to detect and prevent cognitive impairment in dogs, the road to treating dog dementia will also open.

However, because there are no statistics and methods to measure how exactly the interaction between the dog and the computer has affected the dog's nerves, the researchers were forced to be satisfied with the results of the experiment using the touch screen game. Valis added that the study is still at the foundation stage.

She said she plans to measure whether the touchscreen improves dopamine secretion, a hormone that reduces cortisol, the dog's stress hormone, and makes it feel pleasurable.

Dogs passionately participating in training

Some dogs and dog owners had to drive for an hour or more to enter the experiment. Some participants visited the lab twice a week. However, after a few weeks, participants said the dog turned out to be noticeable after the experiment. Because the dogs were enthusiastically involved in the experiment, the owners did their best to participate in training every week.

The researchers said it was one of the training methods to strengthen the bond between the master and the dog, but said that he used a computer to make the mechanisms for rewarding the dog more consistent. If this approach becomes universal in the future, the computer will be able to help the dog's body and brain activities when the owner is busy or if it is difficult to play with the dog.

Valis intends to make the data collected in the lab potentially available to everyone, allowing the public to evaluate the puppy's cognitive abilities. The results can be found in the ACM Digital Library.

Cleveland Dog Lab emphasized that the purpose of the study was to understand the cognitive and emotional abilities of the dog. In particular, the researchers wanted to answer questions about the origin of the phylogeny compared to wolves, their ancestors.

The researchers explained that dogdomization plays a very central role, and dog intelligence and general abilities are different from wolves because dogs always watch human behavior and move accordingly.

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