Read The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots by Irene M. Pepperberg Free Online
Book Title: The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots|
The author of the book: Irene M. Pepperberg
ISBN 13: 9780674008069
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 13.58 MB
Edition: Harvard University Press
Date of issue: April 30th 2002
Read full description of the books The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots:Can a parrot understand complex concepts and mean what it says? Since the early 1900s, most studies on animal-human communication have focused on great apes and a few cetacean species. Birds were rarely used in similar studies on the grounds that they were merely talented mimics--that they were, after all, "birdbrains." Experiments performed primarily on pigeons in Skinner boxes demonstrated capacities inferior to those of mammals; these results were thought to reflect the capacities of all birds, despite evidence suggesting that species such as jays, crows, and parrots might be capable of more impressive cognitive feats.
Twenty years ago Irene Pepperberg set out to discover whether the results of the pigeon studies necessarily meant that other birds--particularly the large-brained, highly social parrots--were incapable of mastering complex cognitive concepts and the rudiments of referential speech. Her investigation and the bird at its center--a male Grey parrot named Alex--have since become almost as well known as their primate equivalents and no less a subject of fierce debate in the field of animal cognition. This book represents the long-awaited synthesis of the studies constituting one of the landmark experiments in modern comparative psychology.
Read information about the authorIrene Maxine Pepperberg is a scientist noted for her studies in animal cognition, particularly in relation to parrots. She is an adjunct professor of psychology at Brandeis University and a lecturer at Harvard University. She is well known for her comparative studies into the cognitive fundamentals of language and communication, and was one of the first to try to extend work on language learning in animals other than humans (exemplified by the Washoe project) to a bird species. Dr. Pepperberg is also active in wildlife conservation, especially in relation to parrots.
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