Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Parrots Understand

Parrot speech is commonly regarded as the brainless squawking of a feathered voice recorder.
But studies over the past 30 years continually show that parrots engage in much more than mere mimicry.
Our avian friends can solve certain linguistic processing tasks as deftly as 4-6 year-old children.
Parrots appear to grasp concepts like “same” and “different”, “bigger” and “smaller”, “none” and numbers.
Perhaps most interestingly, they can combine labels and phrases in novel ways.
A January 2007 study in Language Sciences suggests using patterns of parrot speech learning to develop artificial speech skills in robots.

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