kippl007: February 2012 Archives

Animal training

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The use of clicker training on animals is a remarkable presentation of BF Skinners principles of shaping. This method of training through positive reinforcement of the desired behavior starts with the basic steps of the behavior, and turns into an accomplished task.

I chose to use this video of a rabbit that has been fully trained by the use of a clicker, and a reward in the form of food.

Initially the trainer must accustom the animal to the sound of the clicker, by feeding the rabbit every time the she clicked. After this relationship of acoustics and reward has been established, the training could begin.

The trainer must have broken this complex task into a series of simple steps in order for the rabbit to understand. The rabbit was then rewarded for exhibiting the desired behavior. Overall the task breakdown probably looked something like this.

-get the rabbit to move to the bars.
-get the rabbit to weave between the bars
-get the rabbit to go through the loops
-get the rabbit to jump the block.
-get the rabbit to knock down the pins.

This technique is incredibly interesting, and has even been show to work in humans.
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