Spontaneous categorization of vocal imitations in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus)

Giret, Nicolas, Péron, Franck, Nagle, Laurent , Kreutzer, Michel and Bovet, Dalila (2009) Spontaneous categorization of vocal imitations in African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus). Behavioural Processes, 82 (3). pp. 244-248. ISSN 0376-6357

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2009.07.001

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


The ability to categorize elements of the environment is a fundamental aspect of information processing. Many experiments demonstrate the ability of birds and non-human primates to classify items according to their perceptual similarities. Few data are available regarding spontaneous classification of items according to a non-perceptual account in non-human animals. Here, we report unexpected results obtained with African grey parrots learning the referential use of French labels. Parrots did not learn the correct labels but they spontaneously produced more labels corresponding to food when a food item was presented to them and more labels corresponding to an object when shown an object item, although they were never rewarded for doing so. These results demonstrate a form of spontaneous categorization by using vocal imitation of the human language.

Keywords:Parrots, Categorization, African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus), Vocal imitation, Concept learning
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D300 Animal Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:9438
Deposited On:14 May 2013 08:14

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