An interesting story about neurofeedback (formerly "biofeedback") making a comeback in therapeutic settings. Now much more sophisticated, the therapy involves asking patients to essentially play a video game whose controls are the patient's own brain waves:
Karen Pryor Clickertraining (KPCT) is underwriting National Public Radio broadcasts in Tucson AZ beginning January 11th on KUAZ 89.1 FM/1550 AM. The underwriting, will help spread the word in the local community about Karen Pryor's ClickerExpo, "where pets and people learn together" January 27-29th at the DoubleTree Hotel at Reid Park in Tucson. "It's great to be able to sponsor a valuable show like Morning Edition and other great programming on this NPR affiliate", said KPCT president, Aaron Clayton. "NPR broadcasts and clicker training appeal to people who know the value of good observation; I'm sure we'll get a few more people and their dogs introduced to the power of clicker training through affliation with KUAZ and NPR".
More studies showing the "aha" moment that comes with operant conditioning, this time when clicker training horses: Years ago we studied punishment in horse training. In that context, when subjects "figured out" how to avoid the punishment, they usually showed the lowered head, lip licking, chewing, and sighing. They then responded correctly and avoided punishment, so they had learned. But they usually showed signs of anxiety and mild depression. The end of a training trial seemed like relief, "Thank goodness that's over," and they became reluctant to do the trials.
The Gilsdorfs note that some folks believe teaching tricks to cats is unnatural or should be limited to circus animals.
But Sue finds that training increases her rapport with the pets and offers them needed stimulation.