Date: 1/11/21 6:45 pm
From: Suan Hsi Yong <suan.yong...>
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Invitation to participate in perceptual expertise study
Hi all,

Last month I was contacted by Jim Tanaka, a professor in the Cognition
and Brain Sciences program in the Psychology Department at the
University of Victoria. His research focuses on visual expertise and
perceptual experts, and he is currently working on a project to
compare the identification strategies of expert birdwatchers in the
New York area to the strategies of birdwatchers from the United
Kingdom. In this study, New York and UK bird experts will view
passerines from New York and the UK regions and judge their
similarities. Some of you heard him describe his project at the end of
today's Cayuga Bird Club webinar.

If you are interested in participating, see the information below.



Psychology Experiment
Expert Birders Needed

Experiment URL:
Time Commitment: ~30 minutes

What is this study about?

The purpose of this study is to examine the underlying cognitive
mechanisms of visual bird identification. To probe cognition, we are
collecting visual similarity judgments from expert birders living in
the New York area and the United Kingdom. Visual similarity judgments
are powerful because they allow us to better understand how birding
strategies differ across regions.

What is the task?

Your task is to judge the visual similarity of passerines found in the
New York area and the UK. Each session takes approximately 30 minutes
and is composed of roughly 100 different trials. Each trial contains a
grid of nine images. You must select the two images that you consider
most similar to the center image. When you make your selections you
will also indicate which image you believe is most similar and second
most similar. The trials will vary in difficulty. The beginning of the
session includes a brief survey of your birding experience.

How do I participate?

Thank you for your interest!
Please send an email to <proxybirder...> with the subject line
”Expert Participant Code” and your name in the email body. We will
send you a unique participant code.
Once you have your participant code, go to
and follow the instructions.

Can I participate more than once?

Yes! Every session has a different set of trials. We hope that you
find the task interesting and participate multiple times. Just open
the experiment in a new browser tab and reuse your participant code.
You will not need to complete the survey a second time.

Who is conducting this research?

This study is being conducted by Victoria Philibert (University of
Toronto), Dr. Brett Roads (University College of London), Dr. Chris
Kanan (Rochester Institute of Technology) and Dr. James Tanaka
(University of Victoria). If you have questions about this study, you
may contact Dr. Tanaka by telephone (250-721-7541) or e-mail


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