Volkswagen’s Ig Nobel Prize-winning research also used cartoon-watching monkeys

The research that won an Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize for Volkswagen also involved monkeys watching cartoons while they inhaled automobile fumes — a fact that was not publicly known at the time the prize was awarded. Nor was it known to the Ig Nobel Board of Governors. The monkeys/cartoons news was reported today by Jack […]

Animal squawks squeaks and songs (with helium)

Although a considerable body of scholarly work has examined the effects of Helium (2He) on human voice production [see, for example (Helium-assisted) High note research] we are by no means the only animals to have been investigated in this respect – here is a (non-exhaustive) list of examples of other creatures who have squawked, croaked, […]

Unusual Behavior: Females breastfeeding adult males

From time to time, unusual animal behavior comes to the attention of the science community. Now comes this study: “Unusual Behaviour in Grey Woolly Monkeys (Lagothrix cana): Females Breastfeeding Adult Males,” Bárbara Cartagena-Matos, Hilton Ferreira Japyassú, Mariana Cravo-Mota, and Bruna Martins Bezerra, Mammalian Biology-Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, vol. 80, no. 1 (2015): 59-62. (Thanks to Ig Nobel Prize […]

Adding a Wink to the Facial Actions Coding System

Ekman isolated the wink, you see. In 1976 the Facial Actions Coding System [FACS] was developed by Paul Ekman and colleague Wallace V. Friesen. It featured in their paper for the inaugural issue of Environmental Psychology and Nonverbal Behavior, 1(1), pp. 56-75, which was entitled ‘Measuring Facial Movement’. The Facial Action Code was derived from […]

They simulated the stock picking abilities of ten million monkeys

Random accumulation and simulated monkeys figure quite deliberately in this two-part study (it parallels the recent findings of the Ig Nobel Prize-winning team who won their Ig for showing that promoting people at random can produce better results than promoting by other methods): “An evaluation of alternative equity indices. Part 1: Heuristic and optimised weighting […]