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Psychology-chap 10.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
John Bassili

Psychology-Chapter 10 LECTURE Chimp Vocal Language  Chimpanzee: Vicki, adopted by the Hayes’ family  Over the course of 3-4 years she was taught how to speak English using phonemes to produce words  This required a lot of training  The consonants were harder to learn for Vicki, she had to use her hand to cover her mouth and in some cases her nose in order to get the right sound  When Vicki correctly made the sound of said the word, it was usually followed by a treat or snack  After 3 years Vicki managed to acquire a grand total of 4 words: papa, mama, cup, up  So it was not a great success; 3 years=4 words  Why? Chimpanzees don’t have the vocal apparatus to do this (generate vocal sounds), so the Hayes’ were at a disadvantage right off the bat Washoe  Chimpanzee: Washoe, a famous case, chimp trained by the Gardener family and assistants to use sign language (ASL, ameslan)  Washoe was successful in making the correct signs to indicate what she wanted  After 18 months washoe’s vocabulary had made it to 24 signs and this sign vocabulary continued to increase  “W” behind the ear was her sign for Washoe,  Washoe could express her emotional state using signs also (hugs etc.)  Washoe also had a concept of imagery, she could recognize herself in the mirror  A double blind exacting procedure was used where Washoe was shown some object and she was to produce the sign for it  Eventually she learned to string signs together, ‘time eat’ ‘open hurry’ ‘baby in my drink’  After some time Washoe went to live with Roger Fouts in Oklahoma City at a primate station where there were other chimps, undergoing similar studies  We need to be a bit weary of these videos; parts may have been edited **SIDENOTE: Nim Chimpsky  Chimpanzee: Nim Chimpsky, play on names of Noam Chomsky a famous psycholinguist and political writer, he was a very successful scholar, studied at MIT in the US. He wrote books about American politics about how there really is no freedom of speech in the US. His books were so controversial that they wouldn’t even be published in the US. So he had to come to Canada.  Dr. Laura Ann Petitto and Herb Terrace worked with Nim similar to the way the Gardeners worked with Washoe. They wanted to teach him sign language, but they were also very optimistic that they could use Nim as a translator/interpreter for other chimps  Dr. Laura now works at UTSC  But this was basically a fail, Nim made too many mistakes that most children would not make.  This brought negative opinions to the whole idea of chimp language. “Animals don’t have real language.”  Later Sue-Savage-Rumbaugh, Georgia State University, did more studies with chimps and gorillas (Kanzi, Koko, Lana)  She believed primates could learn a rudimentary form of language.  Using geometric symbols, they were taught to understand vocal language but not expected to speak it.  This led people to believe that maybe primates were the wrong species to be teaching, or maybe sign language just wasn’t right.  This so called language of animals and whether or not it should be even considered language is a topic that continues to be debated.  Whatever chimps like Washoe and Vicki did are not real language. Even if it is a really bright chimp, one could try but it is never going to be at the same level as us humans Broca’s Area  Lawyer: Charles Landry, very successful practice, until he had a stroke which affected his Broca’s area  A blood clot cut off circulation to part of his brain and brought his professional career to an end  He seems to be very bright until you present him with a test and he has trouble using grammar  He suffers from agrammatism and cannot make the relation between content type words and grammar words  He also has trouble with comprehension and expressing himself, he had slow speech, not very fluent  He understands only nouns and verbs  Charles also had a lot of trouble understanding even the simplest of sentences i.e.: The leopard killed the lion.” He did not know which animal died, comprehension was still difficult. Who died? The lion? Or was it that leopard? Stuttering  Doctor: Andy, eme
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