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I Train My Cats With PSYCHOLOGY



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cats I love my cats they're soft and

cuddly and super friendly and they're

smart too for example Loki here will

start meowing out the window if he just

hears my keys and bill is at my feet if

I open the fridge because he thinks it's

dinnertime but what's crazy is I never

taught them that so how did that happen

exactly well it turns out that there's a

little bit of psychology going on let me

tell you a story

in the early 1900's there was a guy

named Ivan Pavlov he was studying how

and why dogs salivate he understood that

they salivated when food is put in front

of them because it's necessary for

eating but he also realized that dogs

would salivate before receiving the food

if they could smell it or see it not

particularly surprising I mean I

salivate when I smell a tasty steak but

here's the kicker he noticed that if the

dog even saw the person who normally fed

them they would start to salivate that's

a bit strange they were learning to

connect the person who fed them with the

arrival of food so Pavlov decided to see

if he could take this one step further

and he pulled out a metronome right

before giving the dogs their food he

would play the metronome and have it

tick away understandably the dogs didn't

really have much of a response to this

but he only played the metronome during

feeding times after a few days of doing

this he again played the metronome but

this time gave no food and the dogs

salivated you see they connected the

sound to the food and he could make them

salivate on command even though they're

normally totally disconnected this is

called classical conditioning

okay let's put some labels on this stuff

to make it easier to identify later on

the food is an unconditioned stimulus

think of the word unconditioned as

meaning the same thing as trained so

this is an untrained stimulus the saliva

is an unconditioned response to the food

the dogs don't need to learn anything

about this unconditioned stuff they just

see the food and the body responds by

making saliva it's automatic the

metronome or the sound of the metronome

on the other hand is a conditioned

stimulus by pairing a conditioned

stimulus with an unconditioned stimulus

we can trigger an unconditioned response

eventually when the dog associates the

sound of the metronome with the food we

can remove the unconditioned stimulus

and if we see a response to the

conditioned stimulus resulting in what

was the unconditioned response we have a

conditioned response did you get all

that

so my cats learned a lot of things

without me or them realizing it but what

if I use classical conditioning on

purpose to teach my cat's a trick now

many people might say that you can't

train a cat but that's simply not true

in fact my cats have already fallen

victim to classical conditioning you see

this jar we keep cat treats in here but

they originally came in a bag so there's

no real association between this glass

jar and the cat treats other than the

fact that we've been storing them in

here for a little while and yet when I

shake this jar

alright no more wasting time let's get

to training it was my mission to get

bill and Loki to come to me on command

this is something I had never taught

them before the first step was to

identify an unconditioned stimulus both

cats are food motivated so I bought

these special treats that they would

only get while training the

unconditioned response would be the cats

walking to the tree and eating him the

conditioned stimulus was perhaps the

hardest thing to come up with I knew I

wanted a sound and preferably when I

could make myself that they wouldn't

encounter elsewhere

and then I found it so I don't know if

you've ever played ocarina of time

before but there's this one cutscene

where the fish king the king of the

Zoras is moving out of the way and it

takes forever but it makes a pretty

distinct sound I've got my conditioned

stimulus now I just need to pair the two

together and see if it works all right

so it's day one of training for the cats

I've already got something set up for

them and we're just gonna go ahead and

set up the camera on a tripod so you can

see everything as it unfolds

I've got cat treats pick these up

they're also dental treats so we're

gonna be killing two birds with one

stone training and flighting flighting

fighting black so that's good let's see

what we can make happen

you can see that the cats have already

responded to the sound of the bag they

also know the smell of the treats they

get rid of this bag now that's not an

issue so I'm just holding these treats

in my hand and what I'm going to do is

intermittently make this noise and and

then give them a treatment so noise

immediately followed by a tree and then

hopefully they pose their noise we'll be

feeding them a lot of treats I don't

want them to barf all over the place but

we'll probably reach a limit where they

no longer actually want the treat

because they're getting full but we'll

see what that level is here we go okay

point point point point point point

point point point point point point

point point point point point point

point point point point point point

point point point point point that was

great Loki was around the corner from

the table heard me make the noise and

came and looked around to see if he was

gonna get a treat and then he came to me

in order to get that tree that is

classical conditioning right there

that's pretty impressive

good job Loki bill he need improvement

what do you think you're doing you gotta

wait you gotta wait you gotta wait well

end of day one and I think generally

speaking pretty successful you know we

got a little bit of a reaction from Loki

bill I'm a little less sure of he seems

to be coming along slowly another thing

I was thinking about is they pretty much

have access to food 24/7 we give them

dry food and I feel like if they were a

little hungrier they would be more

inclined to do some of this training not

saying we're gonna starve them or

anything I mean but just

limiting their food intake to make them

hungry or when we need them to be that

sounds bad

all right day two we are doing a little

bit of new experimentation based on

yesterday's learning for example I

bought some new treats hopefully these

keep them a little bit more interested

in the training and I just mix them all

together so let me set you down here

let's get to training point point point

point point point point point point

point point point point but smoothly why

point point point point point point

point point point point point something

tells me that low key is going to be the

winner in this contest but there are no

losers just not as good winners all

right so that wraps day two and I feel

like I have learned quite a bit today

based on all the training that we've

been doing variety seems to help it does

keep them engaged and interested and I

think the next step for Bill here since

he's been having the most difficulty is

probably limiting food intake that'll

get you more interested in the treats

won't it bill low key here on the other

hand seems to be picking it up just fine

and I think that he'll learn in no time

all right well it is officially day

three of training and I've decided to

take a few more steps to sort of make

this whole experiment successful when I

went to work this morning for example I

took the cats food bowls and put them

away in the closet and as you can hear

there

not too happy about that right bill is

that I'm gonna put you up here get a

nice point point point point point point

point point point point point point

point point point point point point

point point bill is not getting this

making the noise but he's just not

coming over all right so here's sort of

what I've concluded it appears that Loki

does a great job with this he knows

exactly how to get treats what to do in

order to get treats he comes when I make

the noise bill here on the other hand is

not doing so hot for whatever reason

he's just not learning I guess it's not

that surprising me he's not like the

best trained cat in the world or

anything but I sort of imagined that

with the food restriction he would be

because that cat is annoying when he's

hungry what's up y'all it's day four I

think I'm losing track of the days

exactly but this will be the last day

that I'm actually doing any sort of

training with them so it's now or never

point point point point point point

point point point point

[Music]

boy hmm bill is not responding well that

just about wraps up today's training and

tomorrow is the moment of truth because

we're gonna figure out if Bill and Loki

have been classically conditioned I

don't have much confidence in you bill

but you might surprise me let's find out

Loki you're doing a great job today's

the day when I finally learn how to

focus a camera no but seriously

that was horrible I'm sorry about all

the crappy footage that is no joke all

right I'm here in the office and it

seems to be perfect circumstances for

what we're about to do we've got bill

down here who's being a little sleepy

and Loki who's just hanging out with

everybody so I'll get you set up in this

other room and then I'm gonna call the

cats using my signature sound and we'll

see if they come a-runnin let's make

sure that you're focused though there we

go okay so I've got no treats in my

hands the cats are in the other room and

I'm gonna make my signature noise see

what happens

boy from downtown

but where's your brother buddy oh there

it is point kill me yeah good point

good kid yeah I'm so happy I never

expected I'd be able to call my cats

using a weird duck fish noise I hope

that you enjoyed this experiment in

classical conditioning but wait there's

more because next video I'm going to be

teaching my cats yet another trick but

this time using the much more complex

operant conditioning if you want to vote

for which trick I teach our cats in the

next video you can click right here to

vote in our poll thanks for watching

this episode of mikus icon neuro

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in the future if you really like seeing

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scenes on our patreon page you can go

there and see them you don't have to be

a supporter in order to see them we're

just gonna throw them up there and you

can find that right here as well thanks

so much for watching and until next time

I'm Micah think about it man boy boy boy

boy point one point one point one point

one point one point point point point

point point point point point

wait boy one point three point eight

point one point one

boy oh boy