FAQ and System Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

Anyone can participate. In order to understand how perceptual expertise develops, we need to test the perceptual and memory abilities of people at all levels of experience with birds, including novices, beginners, and serious experts.

What is required to participate in the experiments?

You need a computer with a broadband internet connection. The experiments on this website are designed to work on any modern computer (less than five years old) with an updated internet browser and Adobe Flash Player. More information about computer system requirements are list below in the System Requirements section.

You also need a short block of free time for each experiment. Each experiment varies in duration with the shortest lasting 5 minutes and the longest lasting about 30 minutes. Longer experiments are split into multiple sessions that can be completed separately. The duration of each experiment can be found with its description.

How are the drawings awarded?

The initial group of people to complete an experiment will be entered into a drawing to win one of several prizes ($100 Amazon gift card, one year free access to Birds of North America Online, or a one year electronic subscription to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology). A separate drawing will occur for every experiment. The winner will be randomly selected and the odds of winning are approximately 1 out of 25.

Where do your images come from?

Many of our bird images were obtained with permission from the BirdShare group that the All About Birds team coordinates at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. These images can be used for educational and research purposes. Many other bird and non-bird images were shared by collaborators and colleagues.

System Requirements

If you are experiencing any problems with the website or the experiments, please email us (jianhong.shen@vanderbilt.edu) with a description of the problem.

  • The website and the experiments work best with a broadband internet connection. If you have cable or DSL internet access or are on a wired/wireless network at work or school/university, you should have no problems. Internet access through dial-up may work, but we make no guarantees.
  • The website has been tested with Firefox 3.5+, Microsoft Internet Explorer 7+, Apple Safari 4+, and Google Chrome 3+. Older versions of these browsers and other browsers may not be compatible with this website. We recommend updating your browser to the current version (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome).
  • Most experiments on this website are created to run with the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. You may  need to update your browser’s Flash plugin. You can check for an update or install Adobe Flash Player by visiting this website: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/.
  • Unfortunately, because the experiments use Adobe Flash, they do not currently work on an Apple iPad.