07 March 2007

Bird Brain

Yesterday, I taught Colin Allen's "Star Witness" -- a wonderful dramatization of the panoply of philosophical issues surrounding the topic of nonhuman-animal cognition. To warm students up to the possibility of a parrot testifying in a criminal proceeding (!), I showed them this clip from the PBS show, Scientific American Frontiers (featuring Alan Alda).

Once you witness the kind of work the Dr. Irene Pepperberg does with her African Grey Parrot, Alex, you'll never regard 'bird brain' as an insult again.

A useful introduction to Pepperberg's work can be found here. Alex's Wikipedia page (of course he has one!) can be found here, and The Alex Foundation can be found here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is incredible!