Sunday, September 27, 2015

Blessi and the can of peanuts

Here is a video of Blessi opening a can of peanuts.   This is the third time that he has had the opportunity to "play" with a can of peanuts.  However, he was just as quick and assured on his first attempt.

Event 1:
For 2 years, I used peanuts to treat him for tricks.  One time, Blessi was playing the game at two levels:
-tactical--do the trick and get one peanut
- strategic--watch me carefully to see when I was not paying since he was at liberty and go for the whole can.
I got tired of moving the can of peanuts so I closed it and put it outside the arena.

As I was leading him outside the arena, I started to talk to another boarder.  Just that fast, he opened the can of peanuts to win the jackpot.

Event 2:
I gave Blessi a large plastic bag of new musical instruments for him to explore.   Instead of pulling things out of the bag and tossing them around, Blessi kept his head in the bag which was odd.  Finally I went to check on him.  I had forgotten that the peanut can was in the bag.  Blessi had opened the can and munching peanuts being careful to keep his head out of sight.

Event 3:
Video that I made today.

This is an amazing video if you think about it.  Blessi must have observed me for years and in his own mind figured out the spacial representations on how to use his lips to replace fingers.  Plus he doesn't have opposable thumbs so he had to pre-figure out how to brace the can against the ground to get leverage.  And the can is in his blind spot so he was working without a lot of visual feedback.  There is a lot of cognitive processing going on in Blessi' black box.

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