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How intelligent is a parot?

 
 
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 10:52 pm


Parrots 'as intelligent' as young children
By Kirsten Veness for The World Today
An American scientist says the results of a 29-year study suggest parrots could be as intelligent as five-year-old humans.
Brandeis University Professor Irene Pepperberg says her study of Alex, an african grey parrot, shows parrots have an impressive intelligence.
"They're about the same intelligence as a five-year-old child but their communication skills, at least as far as we've looked at in the lab, are only about that of a two-year-old," she said.
"So no long, complicated sentences but the ability to answer the questions that we ask."
Alex can identify 100 objects, most of them food and toys from around his home.
He can add up and identify seven colours.
"If you put language in quotes, yes, they use English speech," Professor Pepperberg said.

"If I ask him what colour, he'll say 'green and if I ask what shape, he'll say 'three-quarter'."
Routine questions
Professor Pepperberg says Alex can use simple phrases to say where he wants to go, and even has a few more complex sentences under his wing.
"There are long phrases that he has that have what we call general reference, but not specific reference," she said.
"We'll have what we call the goodnight routine, so when we leave at night this: 'You be good, I'll see you tomorrow' or 'I'm going to go eat dinner, I'll see you tomorrow' - things like that.
"He has a general sense of the appropriateness of when these are supposed to be said, but probably doesn't understand what all those words mean."
But Alex is no galah - when he does not want to do what is asked, he makes it known.

"If he's giving me six wrong answers in a row, you know he's avoiding that seventh answer carefully.
"So you know he knows it, because by chance he couldn't do that."

Smile :nonooo: :perplexed:
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GHOST phil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 09:42 am
@Alan McDougall,
Why no replies? I found this quite interesting, what really makes the distinction between us and the parrot, brain wise, other than the level of intelligence? Does it have "intelligence", like is it self-aware? It can obviously think for it's self...these may be stupid questions...not sure.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 02:19 pm
@GHOST phil,
I find this unsurprising. The great apes have basic societal structures and even trade between tribes for safe passage. They can solve problems, do very basic arithmetic and learn a fairly decent vocabulary. Functionally they are on par with a human of an i.q. between 60 and 75, depending on what species we are talking about. Gorillas have long been known to be able to communicate with sign language and do basic arithmetic, solve basic problems ect. The also have better short term memory than humans, when shown a pattern on a screen they can touch the screen in the exact places that a set of lighted dots appeared to replicate the pattern accurately.
Kolbe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jan, 2009 02:27 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Also, if Stephen Fry is to be believed, if presented with a camera, a gorilla will not only take it apart piece by piece, but put it back together again. Bit of pub quiz knowledge for you.
0 Replies
 
GHOST phil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 28 Jan, 2009 10:18 am
@Zetetic11235,
Zetetic11235 wrote:
The also have better short term memory than humans, when shown a pattern on a screen they can touch the screen in the exact places that a set of lighted dots appeared to replicate the pattern accurately.

I have seen this, the numbers flash up for a split second, and they touch where the numbers were, with extreme precision and speed. You say they trade items for safe passage, now that is smart...
Hermes
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Feb, 2009 06:16 am
@GHOST phil,
That was quite interesting, I'm quite familiar with chimp intelligence but not so with parrots Smile

I am not surprised though, a number of animals, all social, exhibit the basics of human child behaviour. If you look at it objectively, it is clear that consciousness is on a sliding scale, is emergent and must be a result of humans doing basically the same thing that other animals do, only "better".

(Man I hate linking to my site all the time, but I'm only trying to be informative and get me some feedback! I have proposed a model for consciousness, which basically explains how the mind of any "higher" beast works, would explain the parrot I believe, and I'm rewriting it now, so take a ganders if you're interested).
0 Replies
 
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Feb, 2009 10:11 am
@Alan McDougall,
Guys,

I have a small parrot and man!! he can talk and knows what he is talking about and to top it all he has one hell of a sense of humor

Are we the only earthly beings that have a higher consciousness,? I think not
thysin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Mar, 2009 03:48 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:
Guys,

I have a small parrot and man!! he can talk and knows what he is talking about and to top it all he has one hell of a sense of humor

Are we the only earthly beings that have a higher consciousness,? I think not


Hey, I find this extremely interesting as well. I was wondering what he does when confronted with a mirror?

I have an egyptian mau and he is ridiculously intelligent in comparison to most house cats. I've had him actually 'trick' me before. I, being the thrifty alcoholic I am, used to drink a lot of bud light(bottles) and collect the boxes to make my cat a fortress(ended up being about 15 boxes and took up half a room, he loved it). One day he was in one of the boxes that was well worn an extremely frayed corner that happened to be a hole that was covered by the fluffed out cardboard. I had been calling his name for a few minutes and he hadn't come(he always came, especially when he heard a cabinet since I kept his treats in the cabinet), so I went to his fortress and saw his paw sticking out of the entrance to that box...just his paw. I went over there and he jerked it away and I heard him rustling around and then his paw appeared again. I thought it was just a funny coincidence that he looked to be teasing me like I tease him with my finger. As I reached down to touch it his paw jerked back inside and his whole freaking front leg came out of that frayed corner and he latched onto my arm, it hurt but it was too freaking hilarious to not laugh. He is freakin crazy.
A side note...he still does what ever other cat does when confronted with a mirror...tries to smell it and rub against it, lol. Oh well, so much for that!
0 Replies
 
Harby phil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Apr, 2009 02:51 am
@Alan McDougall,
I have infact heard, but saddly cannot cite from where, that dolphins are smarter than an average adult human. It isn't intelligence that separates us from the other higher-order animals, it is the fact we have a natural instinct to teach our young, thus creating such an elaborate culture and making better (arguably) use of what nature has given us.
Alan McDougall
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Apr, 2009 06:58 am
@Harby phil,
Yeah

When the Intelligent Aliens finally visited earth, we humans are going to get a huge shock when they ignore us as sentient beings, and request to commune to the Dolphin leader, heck maybe to your Parrot
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Apr, 2009 09:35 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:

When the Intelligent Aliens finally visited earth, we humans are going to get a huge shock when they ignore us as sentient beings, and request to commune to the Dolphin leader, heck maybe to your Parrot


Or when they convene a War Crimes court to prosecute our enslavement of hogs.
0 Replies
 
 

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