Cognitive Analysis of Non-Human Primates
A Senior Design Project
This senior design project will have a design team, consisting of four members, partnered with Dr. Darby Proctor in order to develop a suite of cognitive assessment tests for use with primates at the Brevard Zoo.
Project Ceasar will be used to collect and analyze cognitive data from the primates for use in the scientific community. The main goal of the project is to develop a software test suite that will serve as the initial training program for the primates. This training program will help the primates learn to interact with the testing machine.
Project Caesar also involves the construction of a hardware system which can be physically placed in the primates enclosure and interacted with to complete the tests.
The project is being sponsored by Dr. Eraldo Ribeiro, who will serve as an advisor and faculty resource to the development team.
GOALS & MOTIVATION
The goal of this project is to design and implement a custom hardware and software system for the cognitive assessment of primates at the Brevard Zoo. The team will be obtaining and constructing a basic hardware system for version one of the testing device. For software, the team will be developing a training program that will allow the primates to learn how to use the testing device, which will aid them with more advanced tests later in the timeline. The motivation behind this project is to work with Dr. Proctor and the primates to advance the current scientific understanding of the cognitive abilities of these subjects.
The general approach to this project is to first plan and construct a working hardware system which can be used as the testing device. Once the hardware is constructed the team will develop and test the training simulation on the hardware. Main features of the software are described below.
A working GUI - The GUI for the software will be built using the Kotlin programming language and the TornadoFX framework. The GUI must have support for both the human and primate users. The human being the one to set up and initialize the test, and the primate being the main subject performing the test. The GUI will have options available such as image and sound selection, subject selection, and test selection. This GUI will be expanded as the project progresses.
Data Collection - The software will collect data during the assessment phase. This data shall include subject name, stimulus names (audio and visual), number of correct attempts, number of incorrect attempts, timestamps for each attempt, and the location of the stimulus for each attempt. This information will be ported to a .csv file for easy retrieval by the human user
The team will need to learn how to effectively design and build a hardware system that is appropriate for the primates to use during the tests. All members of the team have little hardware experience, so this seems to be the largest learning curve. The team will also be using Kotlin as the primary programming language and TornadoFX, Kotlins UI framework. Only one member of the team is very familiar with this language, which will also present a learning curve for the rest of the team. At the request of Dr.Proctor, the team will also be using Open Science Framework as a project control system, which only one team member has used before. Also at the request of Dr. Proctor, the code will be uploaded as an open source project on Github for version control.