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Language-Trained Animals: A Window to the “Black Box”

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DOI: 10.4236/ijis.2012.224020    3,380 Downloads   7,288 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

Animals have to process quantity of information in order to take decisions and adapt their behaviors to their physical and social environment. They have to remember previous events (learning), to cope with their internal (motivational and emotional) states and to display flexible behavioral responses. From a human point of view it is quite impossible to access all those information, not only because of the sensorial channels used that can vary but also because all the processing phase occurs in the “black box” and non-human animals are not able to express verbally what they think, feel or want. Though useful information might lie in the “collected data” (animal mind), extracting them into insightful knowledge with human-accessible form (clear meaning, no interpretation) presents a demanding and sophisticated undertaking. Several scientists decided to trained different individuals from several species (apes, dolphins, grey parrots, dogs) in order to teach them a new communicative system that they could share with us. Here, the different studies (techniques and species used) are presented, their constrains but also the main findings.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

P. Franck, "Language-Trained Animals: A Window to the “Black Box”," International Journal of Intelligence Science, Vol. 2 No. 4A, 2012, pp. 149-159. doi: 10.4236/ijis.2012.224020.

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