HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
African grey parrot is first bird to comprehend numerical concept akin to zero

Waltham, Mass. A Brandeis University researcher has shown that an African grey parrot with a walnut-sized brain understands a numerical concept akin to zero an abstract notion that humans don't typically understand until age three or four, and that can significantly challenge learning-disabled children

Strikingly, Alex, the 28-year-old parrot who lives in a Brandeis lab run by comparative psychologist and cognitive scientist Dr. Irene Pepperberg, spontaneously and correctly used the label "none" during a testing session of his counting skills to describe an absence of a numerical quantity on a tray. This discovery prompted a series of trials in which Alex consistently demonstrated the ability to identify zero quantity by saying the label "none."

Dr. Pepperberg's research findings, published in the current issue of The Journal of Comparative Psychology, add to a growing body of scientific evidence that the avian brain, though physically and organizationally somewhat different from the mammalian cortex, is capable of higher cognitive processing than previously thought. Chimpanzees and possibly squirrel monkeys show some understanding of the concept of zero, but Alex is the first bird to demonstrate an understanding of the absence of a numerical set, Dr. Pepperberg noted.

"It is doubtful that Alex's achievement, or those of some other animals such as chimps, can be completely trained; rather, it seems likely that these skills are based on simpler cognitive abilities they need for survival, such as recognition of more versus less," explained Dr. Pepperberg.

Alex had previously used the label "none" to describe an absence of similarity or difference between two objects, but he had never been taught the concept of zero quantity. "Alex has a zero-like concept; it's not identical to ours but he repeatedly showed us that he understands an absence of quantity," said Dr. Pepperberg.

Historically, the use of "zero" to label a null s
'"/>

Contact: gardner@brandeis.edu
gardner@brandeis.edu
781-736-4204
Brandeis University
8-Jul-2005


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Clues to future evolution of HIV come from African green monkeys
2. First all-African produced genetically engineered maize is resistant to maize streak virus
3. New clue why MS affects African-Americans differently than Caucasians
4. Stressed-out African naked mole-rats may provide clues about human infertility
5. Slow wave activity during sleep is lower in African-Americans than Caucasians
6. OSA symptoms more common among African-American women than Caucasians
7. West African Ocean sediment core links monsoons to global climate evolution
8. African carnage -- 1 years seized ivory likely came from 23,000 elephants
9. Survey finds perceived risk of recurrence low in African-American breast cancer survivors
10. African-Americans at increased risk for earlier preterm births
11. Missouris African-American mothers more likely to deliver prematurely

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/10/2019)... British Columbia (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2019 ... ... Sigma Anti-Bonding Calcium Symposium (ISACS) 2019 at Executive Plaza Hotel in Vancouver, Canada ... and share the knowledge of the various measures to develop healthy bone and ...
(Date:10/8/2019)... ... October 07, 2019 , ... Imaging data sets are generated ... optical projection tomography, optical coherence tomography, echocardiogram, light sheet microscopy, MRI and X-ray ... inhouse, a lot of research groups struggle with transforming these large and sometimes ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 01, 2019 , ... The CHEM+POUR Bag ... medias and to be a more environmentally sustainable evolution to plastic or glass ... experience and feedback from the original version we launched in September 2015,” said ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/24/2019)... ... September 24, 2019 , ... Personalized ... training and site qualification for clinical trial sites and physician investigators. The ... potential clinical trial participants. , Clinical trial sites are currently located in San ...
(Date:9/24/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... September 24, 2019 , ... In the ... for research led by faculty at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology ... tiny microbes that attach to surfaces to form a slimy and yet strong layer ...
(Date:9/17/2019)... ... September 17, 2019 , ... Catalent, ... Project and Clinical Supplies Management, Asia Pacific (APAC) will present at the upcoming ... on Sept. 25-26, 2019. , On Thursday, Sept. 26, at 10:10 a.m., Ms. ...
(Date:9/17/2019)... ... September 17, 2019 , ... Geneticure, Inc., a Rochester ... today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office ... class recommendations for hypertension treatment. , The patent applies to Geneticure’s first ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: