Language-trained animals: a window to the "black box"

Péron, Franck (2012) Language-trained animals: a window to the "black box". International Journal of Intelligence Science, 2 (4A). pp. 149-159. ISSN 2163-0283

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Animals have to process quantity of information in order to take decisions and adapt their behaviors to their physical and social environment. They have to remember previous events (learning), to cope with their internal (motivational and emotional) states and to display flexible behavioral responses. From a human point of view it is quite impossible to access all those information, not only because of the sensorial channels used that can vary but also because all the processing phase occurs in the “black box” and non-human animals are not able to express verbally what they think, feel or want. Though useful information might lie in the “collected data” (animal mind), extracting them into insightful knowledge with human-accessible form (clear meaning, no interpretation) presents a demanding and sophisticated undertaking. Several scientists decided to trained different individuals from several species (apes, dolphins, grey parrots, dogs) in order to teach them a new communicative system that they could share with us. Here, the different studies (techniques and species used) are presented, their constrains but also the main findings.

Keywords:Referential Communication, Language-Trained Animals, Human-Animal Interaction, Cognition
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C850 Cognitive Psychology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:11584
Deposited On:02 Aug 2013 11:41

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