Are Dolphins Even Smarter Than We Thought?

Dr. Adam Pack has spent the past ten years involved in the
scientific study of marine mammals at the Kewalo Basin
Marine Mammal Laboratory (KBMML). Most of the research
carried out at the lab focuses on the sensory processes, cognition,
and communication in bottle-nosed dolphins, but Pack has also
conducted research with humpback whales and pinnipeds.

Pack received his M.A. in comparative psychology and his
Ph.D. in comparative cognition from the University of Hawaii
in Manoa. As the senior research coordinator at KBMML, Pack
plays an invaluable role in the design, methodology, training,
and implementation of all research projects involving the dolphins
residing there. A firm believer that scientific research is most
valuable when it can educate the general public, Pack dedicates
much of his time to interacting with school classes, as well as
civic and community groups. He is also cofounder and vice
president of the Dolphin Institute, a not-for-profit corporation
dedicated to dolphins and whales through education, research,
and conservation.

Pack's latest research has shown, for the first time, that
dolphins' visual and echoic (SONAR) perceptual systems
are integrated at the representational level. The dolphin can
immediately recognize complexly-shaped objects visually that
it has experienced earlier echoically. It can also immediately
recognize complexly-shaped objects echoically that it has
experienced earlier visually. Pack will discuss this aspect of
dolphin cognition in detail along with other research that has
helped us achieve a broader understanding of dolphin intelligence.

Pack's presentation on dolphin intelligence is cosponsored
by the Claremont McKenna College psychology department
and the Roberts Environmental Center.