Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1988

Abstract

An African Grey parrot, Alex, learned to report on the absence or presence of similarity and difference between two objects. Alex was shown pairs of objects that were (a) totally dissimilar, (b) identical, or (c) similar or different with respect to one of three attributes (color, shape, or material). In the first two cases, he responded to the respective queries of "What's same?" or "What's different?" with the vocalization "none," and in the third case he responded with the appropriate category label ("color," "shape," or "mah-mah" [matter]). His accuracy was 80.9% to 83.9% for pairs of familiar objects not used in training and 72.5% to 78.4% for pairs whose colors, shapes, and materials were unfamiliar. The data provide evidence that this parrot's abilities are comparable to those of mammals that have been trained to report on the presence or absence of objects or features of objects.

Comments

This file contains a post-print version of the article, which has the same content as the final edited version but is not formatted according to the layout of the published journal.

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