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Eye Tracking

One of the key goals of comparative psychology is to understand the cognitive and emotional processes of different animal species and to compare them with those of human beings. Eye movements are an important window to these processes because they reveal what an observer is focusing on, what they perceive and, to a certain extent, what they are anticipating.

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Thermal Imaging

Thermal imaging is used to measure the thermal radiation of objects and thus their surface temperature. This works not just on objects, but also on humans and animals. In industry, for example, thermal imaging is used to determine the quality of the thermal insulation of housing. In the medical field, thermal imaging is used to measure skin temperature and to draw conclusions about possible diseases. Temperatures are recorded using thermal cameras. These look and are operated much like modern video cameras. The difference, however, is that they record the corresponding temperature value for each recorded image pixel. In this way, temperatures can be determined from a distance without direct contact with the respective object or living creature.

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Virtual Reality

3D video games and the even more immersive virtual headset environments make it possible to study how we see and navigate through space: what we pay attention to when we learn new routes, how we build mental maps of familiar surroundings, and how we shortcut and detour. Beyond space and navigation, virtual realities can help us study a variety of other aspects of cognition in naturalistic and engaging ways, from creative problem solving to episodic memory and social coordination.

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Touch Screen

Touchscreens have been used in cognitive enrichment and research with primates for a long time because they are so versatile. From a simple choice between two pictures to fully immersive virtual environments, they provide our apes with tasks that stimulate their natural curiosity and problem solving abilities. At the same time, touchscreens allow researchers to collect data with high precision and in a way that can easily be adapted to other human and nonhuman primate populations, making comparisons easier to interpret.

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