Introduction Chapter: Hear Me? See Me?

Pages: 5 (1632 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 28  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Animals  ·  Buy This Paper

Cross modal effects take place not only in humans but in chimpanzees as well. Because chimpanzees are so similar to homo sapiens, the presence of cross modality is something that is totally understandable. The question that could be asked is if cross modality is so prevalent in both humans and chimpanzees, could it also be prevalent in other animals as well? Say, canines for example? Of course, answering that question could then lead to further questions, such as; would studying cross modality in canines assist in developing a more comprehensive and enlightened understanding and, would that understanding translate into a benefit for mankind? One of the reasons for researching cross modality in canines is that it may translate into an understanding of how humans relate and communicate as well.

A recent study determined that "some individuals may even experience crossmodal associations to a perceptual degree; for example they may literally see sounds" (Ludwig, Adachi, Matsuzawa, 2011, p. 20661). If that statement is true, then a certain understanding of how chimpanzees may be able to see sounds as well has certainly been studied. It is the hope of this researcher that initiating a study of canines in the area of cross modal seeing may further enhance the current literature and provide additional data and results that would benefit not only mankind, but perhaps help to develop further interaction between mankind and animals such as canines and chimpanzees.

Understanding cross modal perception is paramount to developing a study that would assist mankind, and perhaps help mankind's animal companions as well.

However, it is not the animals that are most important in this particular study, it is the way that humans interact and communicate not only with the animals, but with each other as well. As one recent study determined effective cross modal communication and research can rest "on the assumption that humans name the most prominent or interesting items first when asked to summarize an image" (Hwang, Grauman, 2012, p. 135). In other words, humans relate objects to sounds, words to objects, and images to perceptions. If a method for confirming cross modality can be enhanced by researching animals (such as dogs and chimpanzees) and the way they communicate and perceive the same types it items, then it makes sense to conduct studies on these animals.

Though this study is experimenting with the use of canines the study still seeks to determine how mankind can benefit from the study. The Hwang and Grauman study concludes that there is a perceive4d "Importance of objects when performing content based and cross-modal retrieval" (p. 152). Such a conclusion can help researchers understand how humans perceive objects, sounds, and images, while at the same time, this study will hopefully help determine if other species perceive things in the same way.

There are a myriad of problems with this approach, especially since previous studies have helped to determine that auditory cues given to chimpanzees, do not necessarily mean that the chimpanzees can be taught to respond to those auditory cues. A 2009 study showed that even after intense training "only one out of six chimpanzees learned to press a button on a particular side (left or right) in response to hearing a certain auditory stimulus" (Martinez, Matsuzawa, 2009). The question therefore could easily be asked as to why canines would be any different, and perhaps this study will determine that they are not.

If they aren't, however, then at least research will reflect that canines would not be capable of assisting humans in understanding communications in a more effective manner, especially since learning how mankind interacts and communicates with each other is such an important area of research.

A review of the relevant research determines that there is not a plethora of studies, or even data, to review regarding the testing of canines and cross modal perceptions. This study (in part) is being conducted in order to address that lack of information. Studies have shown that canines can use their innate senses to discover things that mankind simple passes by. For instance, a recent article talks about 'top dogs' being trained in Texas to sniff out drugs and explosives being smuggled onto aircraft. The report talks of Brandy, the first dog who "discovered an explosive on a TWA plane twelve minutes before it was set to detonate" (Bly, 2002). The response to Brandy's heorics was to develop a cadre of trained professional dogs who are employed at airports and other important travel centers throughout the world. Does the designation 'Top Dog' show that mankind will benefit from the dog's communications? Yes, it does. There were humans on that first plane, and all the times since that canines have assisted in detecting harmful substances. Does that mean the dogs in this study will have the same type of impact? Probably not, but research leads and researchers follow.

Additionally, other animals (besides chimpanzees) have been tested for cross modal perceptions using both auditory and visual means, and the results have been interesting.

One study showed that the results "are the first to demonstrate that cross-modal recognition in animals can extend to individuals from phylogenetically very distant species" (Proops, McComb, 2012). The study determined that horses recognized trainers from their voices, and that such recognition shows an understanding that could translate into more comprehensive learning by both man and animal.

In one study about monkeys (who are the closest animals to man in both behavior and genetics) it was discovered that "Recognition of familiar faces is clearly advantageous, and the flexibility and utility of primate social memory would be greatly enhanced if visual memories could be accessed cross-modally either by visual or auditory stimulation" (Adachi, Hampton, 2011, p. 1). The study also determined that the monkeys were better able to adapt to their social community and surroundings if they were attuned two both auditory and visual clues. Adachi et al. found that "cross-modal access to visual memory would facilitate flexible retrieval of the knowledge necessary for adaptive social behavior" (p. 1). If monkeys can learn to adapt based on their auditory and visual clues, then it would seem highly likely that mankind can do so as well. Learning from chimpanzees or Rhesus monkeys may have seemed far fetched in previous decades, but the proof is in the pudding. Based on that fact, the information and data retrieved from this canine study could become just as important as the findings from studies on monkeys and other animals.

A recent study on felines also shows that such studies are helpful when attempting to discern how animals respond to cross-modal stimuli, and perhaps how humans can benefit as well. The Liping et al. study researched the visual-auditory neurons that are typically found in felines.

There were two populations that were studied; the typical neurons that overtly respond to both visual and auditory stimuli, and the neurons that only respond to primarily one or the other inputs. What the study determined was that both populations "increased their responsiveness to the exposure stimuli, suggesting that they retain a functional dynamism whose blueprint is established early in life, but whose features continually adapt to short-term experience even during adulthood" (Liping, Rowland, Xu, Stein, 2013, p. 470).

There have been other studies of cross modality involving canines, and in fact, one study proves that researchers will necessarily have to remember that dog may actually perceive sounds differently just based on the fact that each dog has a different sound. One recent study found that there are size-related differences to the "acoustic variation in animal vocalizations" (Taylor, Reby, McComb, 2011, p. 1), and actually the study determined that "the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms at the basis of size assessment in mammals have a multisensory nature" (p. 1). The size variation of the dogs included in the study may… [END OF PREVIEW]

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