Monkey Miscellany

YouTube has a nice clip explaining the research interests of Dr. Miguel Nicolelis. Nicolelis is famous for experiments in which he taught a monkey to control a robotic arm with its thoughts, which were measured using a sophisticated Brain computer Interface (BCI). Though this video unnecessarily exaggerates the controversy over his research and neglects to mention the technology’s therapeutic potential for paralyzed individuals, it provides a nice glimpse of his experimental setup and data collection process:

Besides helping researchers with brain research, monkeys can also help paralyzed individuals more directly.  The organization Helping Hands trains highly intelligent capuchin monkeys to perform everyday tasks for disabled patients.  The monkeys can do everything from putting CDs in a stereo to helping patients eat and drink. Moreover, they also provide valuable companionship.

In case that’s not enough monkey action for you, here’s another YouTube treasure in which a monkey protects a pet cat from a threatening chicken. It’s just dripping with interspecies drama.

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