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vaspider: moiracolleenodell: the-crowing-king: tinysaurus-rex: So my friend’s kid has celiac and...

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vaspider:

moiracolleenodell:

the-crowing-king:

tinysaurus-rex:

So my friend’s kid has celiac and dyslexia and reading labels is difficult for them (also they’re like 7) so he’s teaching their pigeon, Grey Boy, to read the labels and identify ingredients with gluten. It’s going well, other than Nick thought it would be a good idea to make the behavior when the pigeon does find a bad ingredient to just fucking…wing slap the box. Just beat the shit out of it like, “no! BAD gluten! BAD!”

I see a lot of “they taught a pigeon to read?” comments and thought I’d explain a bit more.

So it’s not really like their friend’s pigeon now knows how to read. He’s not going to be terribly interested in a novel you hand him (unless he decides it looks like a good nest.) However pigeons are remarkably good at pattern recognition, especially visual patterns. They out-perform humans when it comes to things like identifying artwork/distinguishing between different artist’s works. So it is pretty easy for them to recognize a visual arrangement of ink, such as a printed word, and be taught to respond to that particular pattern. So when looking at an ingredient list the pigeon learns to pick out the specific pattern(s) he’s been taught to react to among the other patterns (words.)

So he sees “wheat” and doesn’t read it the way humans do (w-h-e-a-t spells wheat), but rather sees the arrangement of pigment that he has been trained to slap. So he slaps it.

He will have to be taught every single gluten containing ingredient for it to be super useful, but it is definitely possible, which is super cool! Plus it makes a little kid’s life easier, and enriches Gray Boy.

Skinner did experiments with pigeons that showed how a pigeon can learn to respond to a visual pattern cue, if your interested more in the science behind it.

@vaspider

Omg that’s amazing


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