Mentor/s

Dr. Dawn Melzer & Dr. Deirdre Yeater

Participation Type

Poster

Abstract

The Canine Cognition Project seeks to uncover whether dogs understand and retain information about an object’s properties through the course of a violation of expectation task. Previous studies on infants (Stahl & Feigenson, 2015) found that human infants look longer at an object if something unexpected has occurred, (e.g., a ball appears to go through a solid wall) and therefore violates their expectations. Canine studies with similar methodology have had inconclusive findings. To add to our understanding of canine object permanence, dogs are presented with a violation of expectation task (VOE), similar to that given to infants. The dogs are placed in front of a stage with a concealed opening in the back wall and a ramp with a guided track. A wall will be placed at the end of the ramp and an occluding wall will be positioned to hide the right side of the stage. An additional wall will be placed in the middle of the track within the dog’s view. The experimenter will roll the object down the ramp. The ball will either stop at the wall in the middle of the track (knowledge consistent event), or the ball will appear to go through the wall (a knowledge inconsistent event or violation of expectation). The experimenter then lifts the occluding wall to reveal the ball and dog’s were given 10 seconds to look at the ball. Preliminary results suggest that dogs will look longer at the violation event which suggests that dogs can demonstrate object permanence.

College and Major available

College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology BS

Course Name and Number, Professor Name

Psych Capstone: Research PS-397, Dr. Dawn Melzer

Location

Digital Commons

Start Day/Time

5-5-2021 1:00 PM

End Day/Time

5-5-2021 4:00 PM

Students' Information

Jocelyn Jernegan: Biology Major, Honors Student, 2022

Danielle Esposito: Psychology Major, Honors Student, 2021

Daniel Koproski: Psychology Major, 2021

Alexandra Miller: Psychology Major, Honors Student, 2022

Gabriela Garcia: Psychology Major, 2021

Natasha Bader: Psychology Major, 2021

Stella Bragoni: Psychology Major, Honors Student, 2021

Antonia Perino: Psychology Major, 2021

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May 5th, 1:00 PM May 5th, 4:00 PM

Where’s the Ball Fido? Investigating Canine Object Permanence Using A Violation of Expectation Task

Digital Commons

The Canine Cognition Project seeks to uncover whether dogs understand and retain information about an object’s properties through the course of a violation of expectation task. Previous studies on infants (Stahl & Feigenson, 2015) found that human infants look longer at an object if something unexpected has occurred, (e.g., a ball appears to go through a solid wall) and therefore violates their expectations. Canine studies with similar methodology have had inconclusive findings. To add to our understanding of canine object permanence, dogs are presented with a violation of expectation task (VOE), similar to that given to infants. The dogs are placed in front of a stage with a concealed opening in the back wall and a ramp with a guided track. A wall will be placed at the end of the ramp and an occluding wall will be positioned to hide the right side of the stage. An additional wall will be placed in the middle of the track within the dog’s view. The experimenter will roll the object down the ramp. The ball will either stop at the wall in the middle of the track (knowledge consistent event), or the ball will appear to go through the wall (a knowledge inconsistent event or violation of expectation). The experimenter then lifts the occluding wall to reveal the ball and dog’s were given 10 seconds to look at the ball. Preliminary results suggest that dogs will look longer at the violation event which suggests that dogs can demonstrate object permanence.