The project investigates the interaction between cats and humans. To do this research, you have to collect many, many videos of cats, watch them and create a database of them.
Of course this sounds perfect but is that all? “A lot of people think you watch several different movies in one day,” project leader Margo van Coppen told Editie NL. But the viewership is not quite that high. “You spend days searching for that one video.”
While watching a movie, you constantly analyze the material. “She studies very carefully what parts of the body a cat uses when she wants to say something and how she uses it.”
For example, you can notice how he orders food. The cat goes through certain steps to get this message across. “A cat first tries to get the attention of its owner,” says Van Koppen. “If the cat wants to walk to a food bowl in another room, it will slowly walk in front of you and then look back a few times to make sure you follow it. Then it indicates what you want. He positioned his body a certain way.”
You write what happens during the video every second. Think of a moving ear, a wink, body rubbing or the person looking away.
“Then you collect the videos and see which patterns are constantly repeating.” If there is enough information from the films, it should be copied and published. “This way, other scientists can also look at our findings.”
The project actually has two goals: “First of all, it serves science, so we know how language and communication work. And what is the difference between humans and animals. And we also want to use the information to show people what a cat is like. It means by its body language.”
It disappoints a lot of people
The Job offer It is very popular with cat lovers. “We’ve already had many enthusiastic responses, but we still have to disappoint a lot of people,” says Van Koppen. “We don’t only care about people who love cats, but also those who have had language training.”
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