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The Laboratory Animal Unit, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo, has compiled an English-language database of audiovisuals and other alternatives for use in the biological sciences. The compilers are Karina and Adrian Smith. The primary purpose of the database is to offer an overview of possible alternatives or supplements to the use of animals in student teaching, at all levels from schools to university. The database consists of approximately 3700 entries, (February, 1999) including computer programs, CD-ROMs, interactive videos, films and more traditional teaching aids such as slide series, 3-D models and classroom charts. There is also a section for Contact Persons who are developing and/or using audiovisuals at their institution, and for suppliers of audiovisuals. We invite users, developers and suppliers of audiovisuals to send in details for future upgrades of the database.
NORINA is available free of charge at the following web site:
For more information, contact:Karina Smith, Consultant
Each record in the NORINA database contains the following fields:
Type of record:
Behaviour & Psychology
Sniffy the Virtual Rat
4.5, 1995 (Macintosh version); 1996 (Windows version)
IBM/Macintosh single user copy: US$47.25; Departmental Site License: US$200.00 plus US$20.00 per CPU
Marketing Department, Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 511 Forest Lodge Road, Pacific Grove, CA 93950-5098, USA Street, Cambridge, CB2 1LR, England
Students can explore the principles of shaping and partial reinforcement in operant conditioning using the virtual rat Sniffy. Starting with Sniffy pacing around its barren virtual box, the student gradually trains the rat to press a bar above the food dispenser. By conditioning their own rat, students receive many of the benefits of true animal experimentation with none of the drawbacks associated with using real animals. They can train Sniffy to perform any of the 30 behaviours including bar pressing by delivering food when the target behaviour occurs. All actions are automatically recorded on a cumulative record. Students learn about Magazine training: orient Sniffy to the sound of food being delivered; Shaping: condition Sniffy to press the bar for food through successive approximation; Reinforcement schedules: explore the consequences of the partial reinforcement schedules; Conditioning: observe the changes in Sniffy's behaviour as conditioning occurs; Extinction: measure the time course of extinction as reinforcement ceases. New features: Spontaneous recovery; Animation quality of Sniffy; Error checking; Simulation techniques; On-line help; Preference file. A Student Lab Manual accompanies the software and walks students through the steps they must follow as they condition Sniffy. Also comes with Instructor's Notes.
Comments and references:
IBM Windows, single user: ISBN 0-534-26702-5, departmental site license: ISBN 0-534-26703-3. Macintosh, single user: ISBN 0-534-25836-0, departmental site license: ISBN 0-534-25839-5. Call Int-1-800-354-9706 for telephone orders. Suitable for higher education institutions in Psychology. Running time for an average student: 40 minutes. Call Int-1-800-487-3575 for information on site licensing Sniffy (ISBN 0-534-25836-5). System requirements for Macintosh version: Runs on all Macintosh machines or Power Mac's running System 7 or later. Requires 1.5 MB of free RAM. System requirements for IBM version: Requires Windows 3.1 in 386 enhanced mode; 1.5 MB free memory with Windows loaded. Microsoft mouse. Colour Monitor VGA, hard drive with 4MB free disc space, 486 machine. A demo of Sniffy is available for the Macintosh version (ISBN 0-534-34128-4). Order from fax number Int-1-408-375-6414. It can also be downloaded via ftp at ftp://ftp.brookscole.com/brookscole/Software/Sniffy/Sniffy_the_Demo_v4.5.sea.hqx. Special 10 % discount to educators off the single-user list price. Discounted volume prices are available when single-user copies are shrink-wrapped with Brooks/Cole's learning, cognition, or introductory texts. Call Int-1-800-354-0092 for more information. Email address to Jeff Graham (co-author): firstname.lastname@example.org
Lester Krames (Professor in Psychology), University of Toronto, Greg Wilson (Freelance programmer), Jeff Graham (senior tutor), University of Toronto, and Tom Alloway (Professor in Psychology), University of Toronto
Ken Boschert, DVM
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