FluentPet’s Scientific Integrity Review Board

At FluentPet, we’re excited to announce a significant step forward in our mission to revolutionize animal communication: the formation of our Scientific Integrity Review Board (SIRB). This board will ensure that our research meets the highest standards of ethics and scientific integrity, reinforcing our commitment to transparency and responsible innovation.

Leading Experts Guiding Our Research

The SIRB is chaired by distinguished experts in cognitive science and animal behavior, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team.

  • Dr. Marta Kutas: Dr. Kutas is a celebrated professor emerita of Cognitive Science and Neurosciences at UC San Diego. She is renowned for her pioneering work in cognitive neuroscience, particularly in the study of language and meaning in the brain. Her expertise provides invaluable insight into our research methodologies.
  • Dr. Terrence Sejnowski: Holding the Francis Crick Chair at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Dr. Sejnowski is a leading figure in computational neuroscience. His work has significantly advanced our understanding of brain function and neural networks, which is crucial for interpreting how animals learn and communicate.
  • Dr. Gary Landsberg: Dr. Landsberg is a diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine. With decades of experience in veterinary behavior, he brings a deep understanding of animal welfare and behavior modification to the board.
  • Leo Trottier: FluentPet’s founder and CEO, Leo Trottier, also serves on the board. Leo's vision and dedication to advancing animal communication technology underpin our company’s innovative approach. His academic background in cognitive science drives our commitment to ethical research.

Commitment to Open Science and Community Engagement

FluentPet was founded by PhDs and graduate students in cognitive science and neuroscience from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). In 2019, inspired by what Christina Hunger achieved with her dog, Stella, it became evident that button-based communication was exciting and needed thoughtful study. This origin in rigorous academic research continues to shape FluentPet’s approach to innovation.

As a science-driven company, we believe we have an obligation to record and share what we are learning, both for the advancement of this new practice and for the benefit of science in general. We support the principles of Open Science through transparency, data sharing, and community engagement.

One of our key initiatives is the How.TheyCanTalk Research project, which systematically records and shares data on how dogs and cats use buttons to communicate. This project exemplifies our dedication to Open Science, making our findings accessible to researchers, dog and cat parents, and enthusiasts alike. By fostering a collaborative environment, we aim to advance our understanding of animal cognition and strengthen the bond between animals and their humans.

Ensuring Rigorous and Unbiased Research

The SIRB’s role is crucial in maintaining rigorous and unbiased research practices. This independent advisory body ensures that FluentPet’s research follows best practices and remains free from bias, reinforcing our position as a leader in the field of animal communication. The formation of the SIRB is a testament to our commitment to scientific integrity and responsible innovation.

Beyond research, we engage with the community by creating tools such as buttons and HexTiles to make it easier for people to teach their dogs and cats how to communicate with buttons. The How.TheyCanTalk Research initiative aims to record, and eventually publish, what the data we collect through this forum.