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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Paper Session #119
Topics in Applied Animal Behavior: Stimulus Discrimination
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
5:00 PM–5:20 PM
Loft GH, Niveau 3
Area: AAB
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Timothy Edwards (University of Waikato)
Go/No-Go Signal Detection: Field to Laboratory Translation
Domain: Applied Research
TIMOTHY EDWARDS (University of Waikato), Janine Haycock (University of Waikato), Anna Tashkoff (University of Waikato)
Abstract: Trained pouched rats can identify sputum samples from tuberculosis-positive individuals. By re-evaluating samples that have been collected and assessed at clinics, the rats have increased case-detection rates in collaborating clinics in Tanzania and Mozambique by 40-50%. Though the rats continue to have a significant impact in these operations, further optimization of their performance in these and other potential operational scenarios is a high priority. Conducting the necessary research under operational conditions is extremely challenging. Because few samples have known status, it is not possible to adjust positive sample prevalence and reinforcement rate with precision, and the discriminative stimuli associated with olfactory detection are difficult to control. We developed a tuberculosis-detection analogue using visual stimuli in an apparatus designed for domestic hens. Results from two research projects employing the analogue procedure with 12 hens, one investigating influences of reinforcement rate and signal probability and another investigating influences of the indication response requirement, are presented. The findings indicate that the procedure is robust, producing consistent accuracy across a wide range of reinforcement rate and signal probability values, and that the indication response requirement is a key determinant of performance in this type of go/no-go signal detection task.



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