May. 20th, 2009

psy: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/927946 (Default)


The Alex Foundation's Research Publication (partial list)
Published Books: "The Alex Studies" and "Alex & Me"

"Known as one of the most famous African Grey parrots in history, Alex pioneered new avenues in avian intelligence. He possessed more than 100 vocal labels for different objects, actions, colors and could identify certain objects by their particular material. He could count object sets up to the total number six and was working on seven and eight. Alex exhibited math skills that were considered advanced in animal intelligence, developing his own “zero-like” concept in addition to being able to infer the connection between written numerals, objects sets, and the vocalization of the number. Alex was learning to read the sounds of various letters and had a concept of phonemes, the sounds that make up words."
(The Alex Foundation)


Wikipedia's entry about Alex contains a "Criticisms" section, where it is suggested that "Alex's alleged use of language" could be a result of operant conditioning (read Monday's journal entry if you are not familiar with this term).  What are your thoughts regarding this accusation?
 

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