Communication with Parots

Essay by ShankyHigh School, 11th gradeF, December 1996

download word file, 24 pages 2.7

Downloaded 104 times

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

of deficits?

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.

Popular Press Publications Index

Scientific Publications - Book marked by Year of...