Data Skeptic

Our guest in this episode is Ryan Hanscom. Ryan is a Ph.D. candidate in a joint doctoral evolution program at San Diego State University and the University of California, Riverside. He is a terrestrial ecologist with a focus on herpetology and mammalogy.  Ryan discussed how the behavior of rattlesnakes is studied in the natural world, particularly with an increase in temperature.

Direct download: advances-in-data-loggers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:04am PDT

We are joined by Hank Schlinger, a professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles. His research revolves around theoretical issues in psychology and behavioral analysis.  Hank establishes that words have references and questions the reference for intelligence. He discussed how intelligence can be observed in animals. He also discussed how intelligence is measured in a given context.

Direct download: what-you-know-about-intelligence-is-wrong-fixed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:31pm PDT

On today’s episode, we are joined by Aimee Dunlap. Aimee is an assistant professor at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and the interim director at the Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center.

Aimee discussed how animals perceive information and what they use it for. She discussed the connection between their environment and learning for decision-making. She also discussed the costs required for learning and factors that affect animal learning.

Direct download: animal-decision-making.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:55pm PDT

We are joined by Tamar Gutnick, a visiting professor at the University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Italy. She studies the octopus nervous system and their behavior, focusing on cognition and learning behaviors.

Tamar gave a background to the kind of research she does — lab research. She discussed some challenges with observing octopuses in the lab. She discussed some patterns observed by the octopus lifestyle in a controlled setting.

Tamar discussed what they know about octopus intelligence. She discussed the octopus nervous system and why they are unique compared to other animals. She discussed how they measure the behavior of octopuses using a video recording and a logger to track brain activity.

Direct download: octopus-cognition.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:50pm PDT