Thursday, September 22, 2022

Decoding canine cognition: How dogs' minds process visual imagery

To create the video for the experiments, the researchers attached a video recorder to a selfie stick that allowed them to shoot footage from a dog's perspective.

Scientists have decoded visual images from a dog's brain, offering a first look at how the canine mind reconstructs what it sees. 

The Journal of Visualized Research published the research done at Emory University. The results suggest that dogs are more attuned to actions in their environment rather than who or what is doing the action. 

"We showed that we can monitor the activity in a dog's brain and, to at least a limited degree, reconstruct what it is looking at," says Gregory Berns, Emory professor of psychology and corresponding author of the paper. "The fact that we are able to do that is remarkable." 

Read more here. 


Dogs process numerical quantities in similar brain regions as humans

Scientists chase mystery of how dogs process words 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Science and creativity combine to imagine a city where everyone thrives

"I never imagined that I'd be co-teaching with a comedian," says Emory biologist Micaela Martinez, "but it's awesome working with David." Photo by Kay Hinton.

A scientist and a comedian walk into a classroom. They start a discussion about how art can influence social justice. 

You’ll have to wait for the punchlines. Emory first-year students will create them as part of a new fall seminar “Human Flourishing: Imagine a Just City.” 

“Humans cannot flourish without true justice,” says Micaela Martinez, Emory assistant professor of biology, who developed the class. “We have so many huge societal problems that need creativity, imagination, hope and optimism to solve.” 

The class is among the new First-Year Flourishing Seminars, aimed at deepening what students know but also who they aspire to be. It is also part of the Emory Arts and Social Justice Fellows program, which pairs Emory faculty with Atlanta artists to explore how creative thinking and artistic expression can inspire change. 

Martinez is co-teaching with Arts and Social Justice Fellow David Perdue, a comedian. 

“You can’t save the world with jokes,” Perdue says. “But humor can be a good way to raise awareness of what’s going on. It’s a first step.” 

Read the whole story.

Friday, September 9, 2022

Physicist seeks ultimate formula for fun

Justin and Afeira Burton encase their son Jonah in a giant bubble while their dog Boba Fetch looks on.

By day, Justin Burton is an Emory associate professor of physics, conducing high-level research on fluid dynamics and granular materials. Evenings and weekends, however, he turns into a comic-book version of a scientist. Not a mad scientist, tough. More like a glad scientist.

Read more about his alter ego, Dr. Bubbles, here.


The physics of giant bubbles