Thursday, December 1, 2016

My Research Is Featured On "50 Years of Lemurs at Duke" Exhibit In Duke University Perkins Library #Duke50

The "50 Years of Lemurs at Duke" exhibit at Duke Perkins Library opened on October 27th, 2016 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Duke Lemur Center. This exhibit, curated by Duke Lemur Center staff, features 50 years of Duke Lemur Center research and conservation. The different facets research and conservation are represented in media, research artifacts, and educational models. My ruffed lemur color vision research is featured in one of the exhibit case as well as an interactive video.

Communication & Behavior Exhibit Case
Close up of my color vision study write up
The exhibit case features two of my lemurs using the two modes of SMARTA (my research apparatus). On the left, a lemur is interacting with SMARTA as he is being trained while on the right, a lemur is interacting with the testing phase of SMARTA. My research asks a very simple question: Can ruffed lemurs perceive and differentiate red from green?

Look for the Lemur Center Videos kiosk
I talk about how positive reinforcement and training help my research
Over at the interactive video, my research is featured on the "Research Video" segment. It highlights how training is beneficial for research and one of the example is using positive reinforcement to train my ruffed lemurs. In this video, I talk about how my lemurs are positively reinforced with food reward to approach SMARTA as well as when they participate in their trials. Training is essential to teach and guide the lemurs on what they need to do, especially for cognitive tasks. You can't ask a lemur if they can see red directly, but with some ingenuity, you can use positive reinforcement to ask them this question.

Checking out the "50 Years of Lemurs at Duke" exhibit with my friend and colleague, Dr. Tara Clark

Please come check out this exhibit and let me know what you think. The exhibit is open to the public and is free. "50 Years of Lemurs at Duke" runs from October 20, 2016 to February 19th, 2017.