Muratti 06/01/07 - Study 2 wk 1 update: Using Blower


UPDATE ON 1/6/2007

• Result after the first week:

After one week, Meena was able to run through the tunnel given negative reinforcement (knocking and shaking the box) everytime the whistle was blown.

• Improvement in week 2: Blower (air pump) trial

- Let A equals to air movement
H equals to hamster reaction
- Hypothesis: A α H

- Advantage of using blower to create air flow:
Knocking and shaking the box so often can frighten the hamster which affect both our normal training (chasing training)and study 1 results. Strong and fast air flow is observed to be able to trigger hamster’s reaction to the whistle sound during the training. This may be due to its natural behavior. Hamster is a small animal living in the underground tunnel. When finding food in the field, their most dangerous predators are birds, snakes or bigger animals which create strong air flow during moving. Hence, air flow is a signal of “enemy” to hamster. It can be used as a negative reinforcement in our training as it links to danger. However, air blowing is not as violent as knocking and shaking the box and even more effective.

- Procedure: Same as week 1. But use blower as negative reinforcement.

- Checkpoint: after 1 week, record the number of times Meena runs through the tunnel out of 10 times whistling with and without using negative reinforcement.

- Plan:
If the hypothesis is proven, start to train the new hamster (E).
If the result is not good, keep training Meena and replace the long tunnel with a shorter one.

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