Carnegie Mellon University

Marine Mammal Research

Project overview

To understand how echolocating animals perceive their environment and how they focus on specific auditory objects, such as fish, in noisy marine settings, we need to measure their cognitive processes. Since moving these large animals into functional MRI scanner is a costly and complicated undertaking, we explore the feasibility of using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in dolphins.

In this project we measured the optical properties (absorption and scattering coefficients) of blubber tissue in domesticated bottlenose dolphins and modeled the light propagation with computational tools to determine the wavelengths, optode locations, and separation distances that maximize sensitivity to brain tissue. Recent News

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