Comparative Perception and Attention Laboratory

Blank Park Zoo projects

Blank Park Zoo is a private zoo located in Des Moines (Iowa) that serves as a service-learning site for Psy 25/Bio 24 Animal Behavior course. In addition to service learning projects, Blank Park Zoo also welcomes individual research projects and/or internships.

 Cognitive abilities of white-faced gibbons

This project has been inspired by work of Reggie Gazes and Rachel Diamond at Zoo Atlanta. We will be using an operant panel (generously donated by Robert Hampton at Emory University) to explore different facets of cognitive abilities in two white-faced gibbons housed at Blank Park Zoo. 

Assessment of enrichment program in scarlet macaws

This project has been conducted by Kayla Salsberg and Kristine Micheletti in Fall 2013-Spring 2013. They have evaluated the effectiveness of environmental enrichment program on behavior in a group of six scarlet macaws (Ara macao).  Their results suggested that food enrichment is more effective than toy enrichment in both increasing the number of birds engaging in active behavior and in decreasing the number of birds engaging in grooming.