Resources for Communication Problems

Monday, November 3, 2008

Writing Bonobo

Writing Bonobo

Susan Savage-Rumbaugh on apes that write

Susan Savage-Rumbaugh has made startling breakthroughs in her lifelong work with chimpanzees and Bonobo (矮黑猩猩侏儒黑猩猩,英文名:BonoboPygmy Chimpanzee學名是「Pan paniscus), showing the animals to be adept in picking up language and other "intelligent" behaviors.

Into the great debate over intelligence and instinct -- over what makes us human -- Susan Savage-Rumbaugh has thrown a monkey wrench. Her work with apes has forced a new way of looking at what traits are truly and distinctly human, and new questions about whether some abilities we attribute to "species" are in fact due to an animal's social environment. She believes culture and tradition, in many cases more than biology, can account for differences between humans and other primates.

Her bonobo apes, including a superstar named Kanzi, understand spoken English, interact, and have learned to execute tasks once believed limited to humans -- such as starting and controlling a fire. They aren't trained in classic human-animal fashion. Like human children, the apes learn by watching. "Parents really don't know how they teach their children language," she has said. "Why should I have to know how I teach Kanzi language? I just act normal around him, and he learns it."

Bonobo Videos

Bonobo Sex and Society

Evolution: Why Sex?

2007-2008 The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language by Christine Kenneally (Paperback - May 27, 2008)

Brain Science Podcast 07 *Stuart Shanker, PhD on Bonobos: (listen to mp3) -what bonobos can teach us about communication

2004-2006 The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved from Our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans by Stanley I. Greenspan and Stuart Shanker (Paperback - Feb 6, 2006)

Brain Science Podcast 06 †The First Idea: (listen to mp3) -the role of emotional signaling in the development of language

2002 Marc D. Hauser, Noam Chomsky, and W. Tecumseh Fitch (2002). “The Faculty of Language: What Is It, Who Has It, and How Did It Evolve?” Science 298:1569-1579.

Brain Science Podcast #30: Language Evolution: a discussion of The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language by Christine Kenneally, 2007. Listen to Episode 30

Brain Science Podcast #39: Michael Arbib, PhD discussed the role of mirror neurons in imitation and language.

Brain Science Podcast #41: Interview with Linguist Alice Gaby: on the relationship between neuroscience and linguistics Episode 41 Listen to Episode 41 of the Brain Science Podcast Download Episode Transcript

Philip Leiberman

2007. Lieberman, P. Old-time linguistic theories. /Cortex/ 24:431-435

2007. Lieberman, P. The evolution of human speech; Its Anatomical and neural bases. Current Anthropology/. 48:39-66.

2007. Lieberman, P. and R. McCarthy . Tracking the Evolution of Language and Speech./ Expedition. /49:15-20.

2008. Lieberman, P. On the neural bases and evolution of free will: reflections on:/Freedom and Neurobiology: Reflections on Free Will, Language, and political Power./ By John R. Searle, /The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms, Journal of ISSEI./13:343-346.

Steven Pinker and Paul Bloom

Steven Jay Gould

1 comment:

Ginger Campbell, MD said...

Thank you for linking to the Brain Science Podcast.

Please note that you can find all the episodes mentioned in this essay at our new website: