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Japanese Researchers Make History Using Touch Screens to Rehabilitate A Male Chimpanzee

  • 21
  • 08
  • 2016

What marvels technology has given us as it has progressed to the point of giving us massive benefits. Technology helps us communicate with friends and family, learn about the world, and even heal our body or mind.

Japan has just become the first country to use touch screen technology to aid in animal rehabilitation.  Reo, a male chimpanzee, has learned to walk again after months of rehabilitation at the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University.

Interestingly enough, the method of rehabilitation is not as difficult or complicated as one might think. The institute has simply taken advantage of the fact that Reo had previously learned to use a touch screen to earn a reward.

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Okay, I know you are probably here just to look at some cute pictures of Reo and hear his interesting story, so here it is.

Reo became paralyzed back in 2006 when his spinal cord became inflamed. After three years of intense physiotherapy, he regained some of his strength and was able to sit up and climb around, but using only his arms.

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By incorporating touch screens in a reward-based system, where he received a treat located two meters away when successfully completing a small cognitive task, he was able to gradually improve his movement. After months, Reo was walking up to five hundred meters in a two-hour technology session.

Researchers at Kyoto University explain how promising this animal rehabilitation development is for the future of animal care and that euthanasia no longer needs to be the only option.

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