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鹦鹉说话证明它有思维吗?

所属:听力板块 来源:普特英语听力 阅读:4047 次 评论:0 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

小编摘要:鹦鹉和其他鸟类的学舌,仅仅是一种仿效行为。鹦鹉能够学会说话。其原因是,鹦鹉学说话不过只是学会了一些简单的话,而不能学说复杂的话,能够通过教学来提高学习兴趣和积极性的鹦鹉毕竟还只占少数,大多数鹦鹉还难以

 Polly Talks, Therefore He Thinks?


Calling someone a “birdbrain” is not intended as a compliment. But some birds seem pretty smart. Parrots, for example, can mimic human speech. But does a parrot’s ability to repeat human words and phrases mean that it can actually think and reason?

Scientists have debated this question for many years. Some believe that parrots can be trained to express abstract concepts. Others say that while their ability to mimic speech makes it seem as though parrots can really think, in the end they’re more like tape recorders, thoughtlessly repeating what they hear.

One firm believer in parrot thoughtfulness is Irene Pepperberg, a researcher associated with Harvard University. Her African Gray parrot, Alex, not only has a sizeable vocabulary but has demonstrated the ability, according to Pepperberg, to think abstractly.

In a typical experiment, Pepperberg will ask Alex to identify a particular object, say a blue square, from among a jumble of toys on a tray. According to Pepperberg’s reports, which she has documented on video, Alex can use his understanding of the concepts “blue” and “square” to pick out the correct object, say how many there are, and even can report “none” if there aren’t any.

While some scientists are willing to concede that Alex’s abilities indicate primitive thought processes, they do not agree that Alex can reason in any complex sense. Instead, they claim that Alex has been trained to perform very sophisticated imitations.

So why should we care whether or not parrots can really think? We tend to see conscious, complex thought as separating humans from other animals. The existence of other thinking animals might urge us to reconsider our innate superiority. And that’s something worth thinking about.

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2011-11-12 23:19 编辑:pliny
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