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Film: Talk to the Animals
(14 min., 1978, M 151)

The Brain: A Road Map to the Mind -- MSNBC

 

Abstract Terms / Concepts Notes Individuals

"Tells that scientists are communicating with apes by teaching them sign language and to use a talking typewriter or computer. Points out that in teaching the chimpanzee language, knowledge is gained which can be used to help teach language to the mentally retarded and to brain-damaged children." Originally broadcast as part of the CBS television program 60 Minutes. -- UMD Library

"One of the oldest dreams is that we might one day communicate with species other than our own. The dream no longer seems impossible for in a few universities scientists are communicating with apes."

"Dr. Roger Foutes is teaching chimpanzees at the Institute for Primate Studies to learn sign language. Dr. Tim Gill joins Lana, a chimpanzee at the Yerkes Primate Center in Atlanta, Georgia, to use a computer to communicate; while at the Georgia Retardation Center a brain-damaged girl talks by using the same conversation board developed for the Lana project. Penny Patterson, a psychologist at Stanford University has taught Koko to communicate with people through a typewriter that translates the keys hit by Koko into voiced language." -- McGraw-Hill Films

 

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Videotape: Chimp Talk
(14 min., 1998, VC 3479)

Bonobo

The Brain: A Road Map to the Mind -- MSNBC

Abstract Terms / Concepts Notes Individuals

"Paul Hoffman, editor of Discover magazine, explores the issue of language use by apes with primatologist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Laura Ann Petitto. Originally broadcast as part of the television program The News Hour with Jim Lehrer." -- UMD Library

"The results of Savage-Rumbaugh's 20-year study with chimpanzees reveal that they can use language with the astounding accuracy of a two-year-old human, which includes a rudimentary syntactically ability. However, Petitto's research indicates that humans have a cognitive predisposition for language lacking in chimps, which leads to the conclusion that although apes communicate by associating symbols with objects and actions, they do not have language ability in the way that humans do. If the scientific community should eventually accept language use by apes, will the last scientific distinction between humans and animals be lost?" -- Films for the Humanities

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Terms / Concepts:

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Notes:

  • bonobos and other chimpanzees lack a vocal apparatus to make human-like sounds, therefore they use sign language with ape experiments

  • if you watch both of these films be sure to compare these two films noting that they were made 20 years apart

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Individuals:

  • Sue Savage-Rumbaugh
  • Duane Rumbaugh
  • Laura-Ann Petitto
  • Roger Fouts and Deborah Fouts and The Washo Project
  • Tim Gill
  • Penny Patterson
  • Paul Huffman
  • Lana
  • Koko
  • Washo
  • Nim Chimpsky
  • Kanzi (the first ape to learn language in the same manner as children, by listening and observing rather than training)
~
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