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J Comp Psychol. 2006 Feb;120(1):1-11.

Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) numerical abilities: addition and further experiments on a zero-like concept.

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Department of Psychology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA.


A Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), able to quantify 6 or fewer item sets (including heterogeneous subsets) by using English labels (I. M. Pepperberg, 1994), was tested on addition of quantities involving 0-6. He was, without explicit training, asked, "How many total X?" for 2 sequentially presented collections (e.g., of variously sized jelly beans or nuts) and required to answer with a vocal English number label. His accuracy suggested (a) that his addition abilities are comparable to those of nonhuman primates and young children, (b) some limits as to his correlation of "none" and the concept of zero, and (c) a possible counting-like strategy for the quantity 5.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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