New Location, New Species

Well, it seems that my project has changed quite a bit since my past post. This is my first serious research project, and while I’ve been assured that such changes are a natural part of the process, I must admit that I still though that more planning on my part from the outset would have let me avoid some the changes. For those who don’t recall my introductory post, I had originally planned to study pygmy marmosets at a local zoo. Not a week after that post, however, I discovered that the local zoo I had planned to do my research at would no longer be displaying the marmosets, and furthermore that no zoo within 300 miles would have pygmy marmosets on display this summer. After an inspired night of panic about these developments, I took some wise advice to wait until after final exams to recalibrate my project in order to have a sane mind while studying and writing papers.

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Pygmy Marmosets and Coregulation

Well, not only will this summer be my first time doing real research, it will also be my first time regularly blogging. Hopefully both will end up being fruitful and insightful, though I’m secretly harboring doubts. If all goes well, by the end of my study I will be able to show in a rigorous and quantifiable way that pygmy marmosets engage in at least one form of coregulation.  Coregulation is a specific type of social behavior in which participants make mutual adjustments to the contingency and unpredictability of the interaction.  I first became aware of coregulation after reading Professor Barbara King’s Dynamic Dance which looked at the negotiated meaning-making that occurred between gorillas at the National Zoo in terms of gestures. Most of the work and theory related to coregulation has been focused on understanding and negotiating meaning, but it can extend to more physical interactions as well.

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