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Author: Herbert S. Terrace
ISBN13: 978-0231063401
Title: Nim (Animal Intelligence Series)
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ePUB size: 1560 kb
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Language: English
Category: Biological Sciences
Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr; Columbia University Press Morningside Ed edition (February 1, 1987)
Pages: 303

Nim (Animal Intelligence Series) by Herbert S. Terrace

Herbert Terrace is a psychologist and professor of Psychology at columbia University.

The project was led by Herbert S. Terrace with the linguistic analysis headed up by psycholinguist Thomas Bever.

Animal Intelligence Series. Author: Herbert Terrace. Subject: Human-animal communication. Ships in 1 to 3 days.

0231063415 (ISBN13: 9780231063418). Unfortunately, the book is brick stupid. by writing a debunking book that caused all the funding to evaporate overnight.

And lo and behold, Nim did indeed seem to make some progress. But long after the project ended, Terrace began to have second thoughts about the whole thing. But here is what de Waal writes: Terrace found Nim a boring conversationalist.

Journal of experimental psychology. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior. More than 19,000 multisign utterances of an infant chimpanzee (Nim) were analyzed for syntactic and semantic regularities.

Animal intelligence; experimental studies. The study of consciousness and the study of behavior. The instinctive reactions of young chicks. A note on the psychology of fishes. The mental life of the monkeys. Law and hypotheses of behavior. The evolution of the human intellect. CameraCanon 5D. rn:oclc:record:1039513035. Identifier-arkark:/13960/t26972s9f.

Scientists are also interested in animal intelligence – more correctly known as animal cognition – from the point of view of comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology and with the insights it gives on the development of human intelligence. The Study of Animal Intelligence. The original method of studying animal cognition – also known as cognitive ethnology – was to perform experiments on intelligence in animals to determine the cognitive processes and patterns involved in animal behaviour. Other animals reputed to have high human-like intelligence include the ceteceans (.

We asked our resident animal lover Martha Teichner to investigate: Fenway, the Boston terrier, is trying to figure out how to get at a treat hidden inside a puzzle. What's going on in his mind? Teichner asked, "If somebody asks you, 'Is my dog smart like a human is smart?' how do you answer that question?" "It's not fair or even correct to compare dog intelligence to human intelligence," said Dr. Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University

Herbert Terrace with Nim Chimpsky, 1970s.

Reviews: 4
Herbert Terrace is a psychologist and professor of Psychology at columbia University. He writes in the Introduction to this 1979 book, "This book is an informal account of an effort to communicate with a member of another species via a human language. The goal was to teach American Sign Language to an infant chimpanzee, Nim Chimpsky, and to document the conditions under which Nim communicated in this medium." He adds in the Introduction, "If indeed a chimpanzee could learn to use language in a humanlike manner, the distinction between humans and at least one nonhuman animal would have to be reexamined."

He acknowledges that "The first experiments at teaching language to chimpanzees were failures. In each case, an infant was raised by a human family and exposed to the same type of stimulation given a human infant."

Concerning the chimp Washoe's (see Roger Fouts' book NEXT OF KIN: WHAT MY CONVERSATIONS WITH CHIMPANZEES HAVE TAUGHT ME ABOUT INTELLIGENCE, COMPASSION AND BEING HUMAN) famous "water bird" signs for a swan, Terrace observes, "there is no way to tell whether she was signing about a body of water and a bird or a 'bird that inhabits water.'... In the absence of such data, reports that Washoe 'created' such combinations as water bird are of no more significance than reports that a chimpanzee generated a line from a Shakespearean sonnet by banging on a machine." However, he later observes about Nim that "Quite spontaneously Nim began to combine signs."

In reviewing some data, he comments, "It did not seem to me as if Sarah's and Lana's sequences display the creativity and broad range of meanings that are so obviously characteristic of a child's sentences."

Ultimately, he concluded, "I began to doubt that Nim's combinations were legitimate sentences ... Despite the steady increase in the size of Nim's vocabulary, the mean length of his utterances did not increase. Apparently, utterances whose average depth was 1.5 signs were long enough to express the meanings that Nim wanted to communicate." Where Nim made longer utterances, "there were as a rule very repetitious ... (e.g.) 'give orange me give eat orange me eat orange give me eat orange' ... Whereas a child's longer utterances expand the meaning of shorter utterances, this one does not."

He summarizes, "much of the structure and meaning of his combinations was determined, or at least suggested, by the utterances of his teachers."

For a somewhat critical review of Terrace's work with Nim, see Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human.
Legend 33
I read "Nim Chimpsky" before I read this book. I was so fascinated by the story of Nim, that I needed to read more about him, so I got a copy of this book. The best thing about this version of the story, is the point of view from witch it was written. It was written by Herbert Terrace himself, the man who started and supervised the project. Naturally, that gives this version of Nim's story a different point of view that "Nim Chimpsky" could not compare to. I preferred two parts of this book over "Nim Chimpsky", it had many more pictures, and explained what Nim's personality was like much better than Mrs. Hess's book did. However, this version gave a narrower overview of the entire life of Nim, partly because it was published before Nim's story was over.

The conclusion that Mr. Terrace comes to in this book, has another side to it the Mrs. Hess points out in her book. Herbert Terrace's final answer is that Nim was just mimicking his teachers signs, and that he did not understand the language at all. What is not mentioned, is the other side to this conclusion. That conclusion shocked everybody who worked with Nim, they somewhat mutually agreed that Nim did understand what he was signing. Also, when Nim was being abused in the LEMSIP research facility, Herbert Terrace himself suggested that Nim be brought into court, and asked via sign language, if he was happy there. To me, it sounds like Mr. Terrace did not fully agree with what he wrote in the book.

If you are considering which book to read first, you should definitely start with "Nim Chimpksy". Because of the publishing dates, "Nim" does not give the story of the full life of Nim, unlike Elizabeth Hess's book. Also, Mrs. Hess gives a better rounded picture of the project, and all of the people that worked with it. Personally, I preferred Elizabeth's writing style over Hebert's. After you read "Nim Chimpsky" however,you should definitely read this book. It perfectly sums up the rest of the story, and ties up many loose ends, and the different point of view is very refreshing. I would recomend that you read this book, but I would not pay much money for it. If you can rent it from a library, or buy it used, take that path. Despite my complaints, "Nim" is still an excellent book that every fan of Nim should read. It perfectly completes the other side of Nim's story.
Excellent read
My husband and I recently saw the documentary, "Project Nim," and were so emotional about the fate of Nim, that I had to read a book about him for more details. This book was a page turner for me. I read it in 2 days and passed it on to my daughter-in-law, who teaches ASL to deaf children in Mexico.
The research that the author did was absolutely meticulous. Her ability to transform those facts and emotions into words,is masterful! It's a must read for anyone who has a love for animals. It totally enlightened me about the medical research world, and has propelled me to learn more about animal sanctuaries.