It's pretty good, but I turned it in late. Well written and cited.
Communication with Parrots
Parrots, and other talking birds, have fascinated mankind since Aristotle. Once
thought to be mere mimics, these affable, entertaining and often quite lovable
creatures are now known to possess remarkable intellectual abilities. Since 1977,
Dr. Irene Pepperberg's studies in Ethology (Animal Behavior) and Animal-Human
communications have provided insight into the capabilities of these animals to talk
and to understand.
Dr. Pepperberg currently works with 3 Congo African Grey Parrots. Alex, the
oldest, can count, identify objects, shapes, colors and materials, knows the
concepts of same and different, and bosses around lab assistants in order to modify
his environment! They have begun work with phonics and there is evidence to
suggest that, someday, Alex may be able to read.
The results of this work have wide-ranging implications for at least three areas:
Studies of avian versus mammalian brain function: Given that the avian brain, although considerably different from
that of mammals, can process information in similar ways, might Dr.
Pepperberg's procedures assist clinicians who are
devising programs for brain-damaged humans?
Programs for teaching language to dysfunctional children: Dr. Pepperberg's training techniques are being used,
with some success, for developmentally-delayed children; might the procedures also work for children with other types
Targeting parrots for wildlife conservation initiatives: If parrots are as intelligent as chimpanzees and dolphins,
shouldn't we make the same attempts to save them and their habitat as we are making for these other species?
This page is dedicated to Irene, her students, and those aviculturists around the world who
choose to follow in their footsteps.
You are the th visitor since March 1, 1996
Pepperberg, Irene Maxine, Ph.D.
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