Match-Match Animal Individuals (MMAI): An acoustic memory game

How easy / difficult is it to recognize calls of individual animals? This would depend on how much information about individual identity is there encoded in the calls of the species. We prepared an adaptation of Match Pairs memory game to let you experience and listen to individual identity information in one real and four fictional owl species.

The main actor of the game is the Little Owl. Once, very common, but now, critically endengered species in Czech Republic. Because of its status and further population decline, it has been selected as a Bird of the Year by the Czech Ornithological Society in 2018 (see more details in a previous blog). Within the Czech population of Little Owls, more then ever, each individual matters. And, calls of each individual sound unique. You can now listen to and try to match pairs of the calls from each of selected 10 individual Little Owls from the threatened Czech population.

The other four species are fictional species. Their calls were designed to encode different amounts of individuality. Further, the information is organized in a slightly different way in calls of each of those four species. By playing the game you will help us to study and better understand processes of identity signalling and identity recognition. Please, read the consent information and find the link for the game below.

Consent Information for Match-Match Animal Individuals online memory game (MMAI)

  1. Project title

Evolution of identity information in vocalizations – Match-Match Animal Individuals (MMAI).

  1. Project description

MMAI is an online game designed to provide you with a fun gaming experience while gathering data on how different acoustic signals are effective to transfer information about individual identity. This information allows us to understand optimal design of identity signals in animals.

When playing Match-Match Animal Individuals, we collect data related to your performance within the game (the time and number of turns to finish the game, and the sequence of turns). We only record data generated from your actions within the application.

Your participation in this study is voluntary. There are no known risks if you decide to participate in this research study, nor are there any costs for participating in the study.

  1. Dataresponsible and projectleader

If you have any questions or concerns about MMAI you may contact the project leader by an email pavel.linhart83@gmail.com.

  1. Categories of personal data that will be processed about you

We process very few data necessary for the analysis of results and they do not belong to category of personal data. These information do not allow us to find out your real identity. No one will be able to identify your game and no one will know whether you personally participated in this study.

After finishing the game you may enter any possible nickname to made your result stand out on a score board. By using a nickname we can identify games belonging to a single player but not his / her personal identity.

No personal data will be shared with third parties. If the study is eventually published, fully anonymized data might be published along with the study as required by current publishing standards.

  1. Time of storage

The game will be active until 31. 12. 2019. Results will be archived offline and encrypted since 1. 1. 2020 onwards. Fully anonymized results might be published along with the finished study as required by current research standards for onpen data.

  1. Withdraw consent

By playing the game you provide consent that data resulting from your game can be used for scientific purposes. You can finish the game at any time. However, you cannot withdraw your consent from past games because we will not be able to identify your past games.

  1. Consent

I confirm that I have read and understood the information presented to me in this document.  I have had the opportunity to consider the information, ask questions (by email) and have had these answered satisfactorily.

I understand that my participation is voluntary and that by playing the game Match-Match Animal Individuals (MMAI) I provide consent with the data from my games being used for research purposes.

PLAY MMAI

Identity Tree of Life is growing

In a previous blog, we introduced Identity Tree of Life. A web-based interactive tree showing phylogenetic relationships between species together with the level of individual identity information (individuality) reported in their vocalizations. It is based on the excellent OneZoom tree of life explorer. Thanks to the effort of many colleague researchers who contributed sounds from their studies, our tree is slowly growing! We used the tree during Researcher’s night and people were intrigued by the tree and loved to explore individual differences in animals. Continue reading “Identity Tree of Life is growing”

We planted a tree… Identity Tree of Life

The “Evolution of identity signaling in vocalizations” project aims to investigate how identity information in calls varies between species and which biological and ecological factors do influence the level of identity information in calls. Of course, we plan to do a formal research analysis but, also, we would like to summarize what dozens of researchers were after in their studies of acoustic individuality in some attractive way for a public audience.

OneZoom Identity Seedling
Continue reading “We planted a tree… Identity Tree of Life”

Is that a man or a woman speaking?

Last week I was preparing workshops for Researchers Night taking place at our university on upcomming Friday, 29th September.

Besides other things, I plan to show how and why voices of men and women differ and I want let people experiment with some apps that allow to change their voices from male to female and vice versa. Continue reading “Is that a man or a woman speaking?”