Little Kids Learn The Same Way Pigeons Do
We often point to language as evidence of our species’ superiority. But the way humans learn language may not be so foreign to other animals, after all.
A new study has found that the lowly pigeon may provide insight into how young children acquire language. Researchers at the University of Iowa found that pigeons are able to categorize and name dozens of objects, which means they engage in a type of associative learning that children also use to learn new words.
“Our main thesis is that associative learning may underlie the acquisition of complex behaviors, including human language,” lead researcher Dr. Ed Wasserman told The Huffington Post. “If so, then our view of human language as altogether unique may need revision… What we learn from studying a model animal like a pigeon may not only point to important interspecies parallels, but also help us find ways for more effectively teaching children language, especially children with language disorders.”
According to Wasserman, a psychologist who has been studying animal intelligence for decades, the findings also suggest that animals may be more intelligent than we often consider them to be, with learning mechanisms similar to those employed by humans.
In the experiment, three pigeons played —> Read More Here