Can Animals Think? What Birds Can Tell Us About Animal Intelligence
The idea of animal cognition has been debated for centuries. Do animals think, or just react? Are they capable of complex thought and behavior that is not just instinctive? Through her work with African Grey parrots, Dr. Irene Pepperberg, a comparative psychologist, has devoted her entire professional life to investigating these questions.
Dr. Pepperberg’s presentation focuses on her research at The Alex Foundation studying the cognitive and communicative abilities of African Grey parrots compared with those of great apes, marine mammals, and young children.
An interview with Dr. Irene Pepperberg, animal behaviorist, psychologist, and author of “The Alex Studies” and “Alex and Me”
In this Thought Series interview, Dr. Pepperberg, the best-selling author of Alex & Me, a memoir of her 30-year scientific collaboration with an African Grey parrot, shares her research studies of bird intelligence. She shows us why her research has implications beyond determining whether – or how well – animals can think. In fact, her training method with the birds holds promise for teaching developmentally-disabled children who have difficulty learning language, numerical concepts, and empathy.
Recommended Links: Stay up to date on Dr. Pepperberg’s research at The Alex Foundation Watch Nova’s profile of Dr. Pepperberg and Alex Learn more about Dr. Pepperberg and her background
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