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Friday, October 5, 2007

Who's afraid of strangers?

Lodja is adorable but sometimes she bites. I’m trying to take her ear temperature to see how scared she is of strangers. She doesn’t look really scared. We play the call of a bonobo in Leipzig and see if her right ear goes up. If it does, it means she’s scared because the right side of your brain gets hotter when you have a negative emotional response. We’re predicting that bonobos won’t be scared of strangers because when they see a stranger they run up and have sex with them for 30 mins. Chimps on the other hand, we expect to see a big right ear temp increase because if a chimp hears a stranger, that stranger could kill them.

So far, our results are a mess. They don’t make any sense. Which means that we are either on to something really big, or the experiment is a train wreck.