The Alex Studies
Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots
By (author) Irene Maxine Pepperberg
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Alex Studies by Irene Maxine Pepperberg
Book DescriptionCan a parrot understand complex concepts and mean what is says? Since the early s, 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 a s 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 centre - 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.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780674008069
(235mm x 155mm x 27mm)
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 7-May-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Irene Maxine Pepperberg
Alex and Me, Paperback (March 2009)» View all books by Irene Maxine Pepperberg
On September 6, 2007, an African Grey parrot named Alex died prematurely at age thirty-one. For thirty years he and his owner, Irene Pepperberg, had worked together - two pioneers who opened an unprecedented window into the hidden yet vast world of animal minds.
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Author Biography - Irene Maxine Pepperberg
Irene Maxine Pepperberg is Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Associate Professor of Psychology, and Affiliate in the Program in Neuroscience at the University of Arizona. She is the winner of the 2000 Selby Fellowship from the Australian Academy of Sciences and was made a Fellow of the American Psychological Society.
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