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Krulwich Ponders A Parrot

Friday, October 31, 2008 - 10:37 AM

Attention New York metropolitan area Radiolabbers: Our Robert Krulwich will be on stage this Sunday at the 92nd Street Y with animal communications scientist Irene Pepperberg to talk about her late, lamented but wonderously remarkable African Grey parrot Alex.

Alex The Parrot was able to label objects, correctly use colors, concoct new words to describe unfamiliar knickknacks; he could use numbers, he could add, he could even use the word ‘none’, displaying a sophistication that no one thought birds could manage. Was Alex a one-of-a-kind genius? Merely a clever mime? What kind of mind lay hidden inside his feathery head? Irene thinks he had an inner life. The powerful science magazine Nature thinks Alex was all instinct, and like Winnie the Poo, of “very little” brain. We will discuss.

The 92nd Street Y is located at 1395 Lexington Avenue on, yes, 92nd Street.
The program begins at 7:30
Tickets are $27, half price for students with I.D.s.


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Comments [4]


You be good. I love you.

Nov. 13 2008 09:37 PM

I'm so excited for the new season of Radiolab, I can hardly stand it!

Nov. 08 2008 10:12 AM
Heidi McKye

I would love to hear this, can you post the recording and videos?

Nov. 05 2008 02:14 PM
Greg C.

Thanks for hosting this tonight. We had a wonderful time learning about Alex and his cognitive abilities. The videos were helpful in understanding exactly what Alex was doing and how he was being tested. I found the most interesting story was when Alex purposely answered a question wrong so that Dr. Pepperberg would ask him the question he really wanted to answer. That story prompted our discussion on the way home about whether Alex really did have an inner life.

For those unable to attend, here's an interview with Alex and Dr. Pepperberg from American Scientific Frontiers with Alan Alda on PBS:

See you next month with the "bug guy."

Nov. 02 2008 11:50 PM

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