At some point, we were doing things people had not been able to do with apes.”. But that [the birds] understood what these vocalizations meant, and whether we could use that as a window into their cognitive abilities—that was unheard of.”. With help from her African Grey parrot, Pepperberg found that some birds have cognitive abilities on par with primates. Websites. She has been a professor, researcher andor lecturer at multiple universities, and she is currently a research associate and lecturer at Harvard University. National Audubon Society b. “So, why? P - T. By Lab Postdocs and Research Associates. She is head of the Alex Foundation and author of The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots. Photo: Dick Dickinson/Audubon Photography Awards. Irene Pepperberg is Adjunct Associate Professor at Brandeis University and Research Associate and Lecturer at Harvard. Pioneering this field of study was hard, Pepperberg admits, but oh so gratifying. The use of this model rival technique has resulted in Alex identifying objects by color, shape, number and material at about the level of chimpanzees and dolphins. In 2016, researchers showed that parrots and corvids have just as many or more neurons as primates do. Pepperberg also serves on the Advisory Council of METI. Zij is adjunct-professor aan de Brandeis University en doceert op de Harvard University. The model rival technique involves two trainers, one to give instructions, and one to model correct and incorrect responses and to act as the student's rival for the trainer's attention; the model and trainer also exchange roles so that the student sees that the process is fully interactive. I am Dr. Irene Pepperberg, a researcher at Harvard University in the field of animal cognition, specifically of African Grey parrots. Birds lack a brain structure similar to the cerebral cortex, but parrots and corvids, including the crows, have a larger forebrain than other avian species. When some autistic children were taught using the same methods Dr. Pepperberg devised to teach parrots, their response exceeded expectations. She is currently studying the differences in avian and mammalian brain function. Dr. Irene Pepperberg (born April 1, 1949, Brooklyn, New York) is a scientist noted for her studies in animal cognition, particularly in relation to parrots. Filter: Role. View Irene Pepperberg’s full profile. “People really had no understanding of what these birds could do,” she says. She is an adjunct professor of psychology at Brandeis University and a Lecturer at Harvard University . When her colleagues at Harvard questioned Dr. Irene Pepperberg’s 2-cup test success that showed parrots are capable of inferential knowledge to make decisions, Pepperberg and students at her cognitive behavior research lab upped the ante from the 2-cup test to 3- and 4-cup tests. Contact Information. Index. Membership benefits include one year of Audubon magazine and the latest on birds and their habitats. impepper@wjh.harvard.edu. “People really had no understanding of what these birds could do,” she says. While Pepperberg and her colleagues have demonstrated various forms of avian intelligence, ornithologists have also learned that bird brains are more complex than originally thought. His language abilities are equivalent to those of a 2-year old child and he has the problem solving skills of a 6-year old. Irene M. Pepperberg is an associate research professor at Brandeis University in Massachusetts and teaches animal cognition at Harvard University. On Sept. 6, 2007, Alex, the famed African Grey parrot, died unexpectedly of a heart arrhythmia in the lab of animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg, PhD. Irene Pepperberg is een cognitief psycholoog die bekend is geworden door haar onderzoek naar cognitie in dieren, in het bijzonder bij papegaaien. Alex is learning the alphabet, can count up to six objects and is working on identifying objects from photographs. I am Dr. Irene Pepperberg, a researcher at Harvard University in the field of animal cognition, specifically of African Grey parrots. She is studying the mechanisms of their learning as well as the outcomes. Irene Pepperberg was born in 1940s. He knew about 150 words, and could place them into categories. Associate Matthew Nock's Lab. Role/Affiliation. “Bird cognition was an oxymoron,” she recalls. Twenty years ago, Irene Pepperberg set out to discover whether large-brained, highly social parrots were capable of mastering complex cognitive concepts and the rudiments of referential speech. Profile: Irene Pepperberg & AlexOne woman's 30-year relationship with an African gray parrot transformed our understanding of bird intelligence. She presented early findings at a primatology conference in 1987, in which Premack described his chimpanzee work. 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