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danmcq

Grey Cognition and language abilities

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Sometimes, the mental processes, emotions and speech capabilities of these Grey's just blow me away.

 

I would like to hear others stories as well and keep this thread active, if possible.

 

Today:

 

Early this morning I let Dayo (CAG) and Jake (Conure) out of their cages, went

through the good morning and high fives ritual. I then went out the back sliding

glass door and did about 20 minutes of chores in view through the windows which

both birds watch out of.

 

When I came back in, I immediately walked over, sat down and turned the PC on to

check things online.

 

In 30 seconds, Dayo about 15 feet away on the Kitchen counter states

"Shoot!"...."GOD!"..... "I'm on the Computer"...."Want some Apple and Grape".

 

I look over in shock at his clear verbal indication that he was totally

disappointed in my actions upon coming back in the house and not doing my normal

task of chopping up veggies and fruit first thing. He was staring straight at me

and obviously waiting for my acknowledgment. Which I did by saying "Oh, sorry,

lets get some veggies and fruit" and proceeded to perform that task.

 

I have truly been trying to multi-task mentally and pay attention to what he is

saying no matter what I am doing.

 

My theory is, if they are communicating to us and we do not respond with an

appropriate statement back or action, they will decide their communication is

either wrong or not affective and not be as eager to try and clearly communicate

using words and phrases what they want or think.

 

It still boggles my mind that his clear disappointment (Emotional) was clearly

indicated just like that of when my children were young and disappointed we

didn't do what they were expecting.

Edited by danmcq

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That is really amazing.

 

If I have to move Morgan's cage while he's in it, I say in a calm voice, "It's OK." The other day, I sorta bumped him, and said, "Sorry, Morgan, I didn't mean to bump you." And he said, "It's OK." I was not moving the cage at the time!!! Now I wonder if he has put together what "It's OK" might mean, or if he was just babbling. He's now almost 9 months old, so I don't expect him to understand all that much, but maybe he does!!!

 

Great story, Dan!

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That is really amazing.

 

If I have to move Morgan's cage while he's in it, I say in a calm voice, "It's OK." The other day, I sorta bumped him, and said, "Sorry, Morgan, I didn't mean to bump you." And he said, "It's OK." I was not moving the cage at the time!!! Now I wonder if he has put together what "It's OK" might mean, or if he was just babbling. He's now almost 9 months old, so I don't expect him to understand all that much, but maybe he does!!!

 

Great story, Dan!

 

He may or may not truly understand, but it certanly appears that he does by his response. Obviously you consistently use that phrase each time a cage movement occurs, thus "It's ok", is what he has verbally and mentally linked to that event. I tell Dayo "It's OK", everytime something happens that he does not need to fear. Over the last few years, he will slip or see something a little scary and well assure himself verbally "It's ok Dayo".

 

You are on the right path and your Grey is communicating to you, in my opinion.

 

Thanks for sharing this.

 

I appreciate all the others comments too and look forward to this being a jam packed thread with everyones experiences. :)

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Both Spock and Joey say,"Gimme a kiss" Joey also says "com-eer gimme a kiss" when you go to them, they both "smack" and kiss your nose. Salsa our Amazon can be corrected verbally , with some forcefulness, so when she's loud, we claped [no more] our hands and say "Shhhh". When Spock and Salsa do something that bothers Joey, he'll call their name, say "stop it" and make a loud clapping sound! LoL Today Joey said his wanna kiss, I didn't respond quickly enough, so he said disgustedly, "Gonna give me a kiss! Clap!", I guess he told me! Jayd .......... As a side note, I wish Spock had never learned "What". LoL

Edited by Jayd

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My daughter was being cranky one night...it was about time for bed. Wait, only one night of being cranky? HA! I wish! We always let her watch mickey mouse and then bed time. So, she was cranky as all get out, Jasper looks at her and says, 'want to watch mickey mouse?' (that's what we say)! It's amazing to me what these birds understand!

 

Oh and then the dogs where barking to come inside and Jasper said, 'Let the dogs in!'

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More Grey Cognition; Joey's treat rewards are pine nuts and salt-free pretzels which are only given to him on special occasions, as training rewards and as treats sparingly. Joey is very weight-conscious and is careful to only eat what he needs and does eat a balanced diet of all that is offered to him.

We, as does danmcq, use all interactions (as much as we can) for training . So, after breakfast, (since Jay does that the majority of the time), Jay asks Joey if he wants a "good nut" and shows him the bag of pine nuts. After a pause, Jay will give him one at a time (he gets two altogether) which Joey savors. Then, later, after play time, he is shown the pretzel bag and is asked if he wants a "good nut" and then he gets a pretzel. (We only started this a few days ago)

Well, today is my day off and I had the breakfast duty today. After breakfast, I was cleaning up and preparing veggie plates when I heard Joey say "WANNA GOOD NUT!".

OOPPSS! I had forgotten his routine of getting a pine nut after breakfast...as I headed over to show him the bag, he reminded me "Good Nut!!" My bad...he certainly was letting me know in no uncertain terms that he was upset he didn't get his nut.

So, I went back to what I was doing...I then heard Joey again say "Good Nut!" I explained to him that he already had his nuts and again he said "Good nut!" I offered him a pine nut and he pushed my hand away and said "Good Nut!!" Jay yelled out, "He wants his pretzel". Sure enough, he took his pretzel and took ten minutes to savor that pretzel. Then he started whistling his own tune and danced to it before turning to his toys to play....amazing...

Joey is our 3 year old rescue and it's taken us a long time to get to this point. I wish we could have had him as a fledgling...

Spock; Tango, our 'Too says "Whatcha doing?" at which we answer "cooking, getting babies' food, cleaning, etc.". So now Spock will fly over to our shoulder and say "Doing?" and he will be looking down at whatever you are doing and expect an answer, such as "on the computer", "fixing breakfast", "fixing veggies" (at which time he will climb down to examine the process further and if it is veggies, he will help by tossing out what he doesn't want or like and eating whatever he does LOL). Other than a few phrases like "Gimmee a kiss", "Good Water", etc. he still using single words to get across his meaning. He is still a bird of few words...lol!

Maggie

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The other night I was on the phone with my Mom, Paco was happily playing on his spinning playgym and got a little to rambunctious and slipped a bit, losing his balance for a moment. He looked at me and hollered "Woooooowwwww!" I use this exclamation whenever him and I are doing something that I think might cause him a bit of fear, or hesitation, or when I want him to know that we are doing something that is an adventure.

 

Even without really being able to make a facial expression, it was clear that he was relieved he caught himself and was ok.

 

Thanks for starting this post Dan, I hope I can continue to add to it.

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:)I was just curious if there is anyone that has had a grey talk later than the 18 month mark? what are some of the things they do right before they first start to talk? is there stages that they go through before they talk?

From a youngster, a Grey will start to make sounds and noises, it's possible that they are practicing speech, and sounding out sounds. Most Grey's talk at around 1 year old, some earlier, some later, some say few words, some say many, you never know! Does your baby make sounds or talk? Jayd

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It's so wonderful that they have each other, even if they do annoy each other at times.

 

OK - I actually could tell a story every day, but half of them nobody believes. Here is one though. Tobie's newest phrase is to do with "the cage". I think he has just figured out what to call that wire box he lives in. This is how it goes. "Where's Tobie? Tobie in the cage?" Where's Mamma? Mamma going in the cage? Tucker in the cage? I'm going! I'm going! I'm going in the cage? (now he goes in the cage and eats a bite, then ......) Bird in the cage!!! Jan, Jan, Jan, Hey Jan, ---Bird in the cage". About that time I've just gotten the camera set up and he stops the chatter.

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OK! So I got up this morning and didn't have to go to work so I thought I might engage Tobie into his "who's in the cage" dialogue. I set up the camera and Tobie was just doing what he does every morning and then suddenly starts counting. So here is the video. I wasn't kidding when I said I could tell a story every day. To be honest I heard the 4-1-6 and he has said 4-0-6 before (a week ago) and so that part wasn't new. You'll hear the new part. My husband swears he isn't doing this. I know I've never said this to him. We still can't figure out where he got the 4-1-6.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpVXIk5Qu_U

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A friend of my mum's has a CAG her name is Winnie, every night when Hope sits down do have her supper it goes..

Winnie- Winnie need bite

Hope- Winnie has to wait its hot

Winnie- Winnie need HOT bite

Hope- you don't want it its to hot

Winnie- HOPE Winnie need HOT BITE NOW!!, winnie likes hot...

and it will continue until Hope cools off a bite enough for Winnie to have a bite, also after supper her grey and zon ask for their popsicles lol

 

I'm not sure if this falls in the same catagory but I think it is awesome

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Our routine when I get home from work is to go let Bandit out of her cage so we can spen time together. Dinner then cuddles. One night I got home late and didn't let her out. (my husband had her out most of the day, thankully). It had been a long day at work I went up stairs took a shower and when to bed. As I am lying there I hear, "The grey Bandit needs help with a jail break." I feel incredibally guilty and get up to let her out. She repeated this as she heard me coming down the stairs. Naturally I spent about an hour with her as I am fighting to stay awake. Oooh what we do for our birds!!

 

My husband taught her this phrase in the time frame of a couple weeks. It makes me feel terrible every time she says it. And it happens to be only when she is in her cage and wants out.

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I love it! Bandits description of her incarceration is perfect and no doubt congition of where she is and what needs to be done to bust her out. :)

 

Thanks for the morning smile and another GreYt post of just how intelligent these Greys are.

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Brutus says a couple of things that give me pause. I don't know how the first one started except he is observant, if I accidentally drop something in the kitchen, he says "Sorry." Also, we usually go outside, around midmorning. Brutus reminds me by saying, "Wanna go outside?" Plus, at 7 pm we watch Wheel of Fortune on TV. When it is around 6:30 pm or so, he starts saying, "Wanna watch Wheel of Fortune, tonight?" This stuff totally cracks me up and amazes me! Thanks for the thread. Anybody but a "Grey Person" would have a difficult time believing the appropriate words that come from our Greys.

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Tobie has done two lately that I think he knew what he said and ment what he said. I was trying to put him in his harness one afternoon after work to take him out but he was being stubborn. I finally gave up rather than have a battle and said to the dogs "OK lets go outside". Out we went to throw the frisbee etc. I came back in and as I walked past Tobie he shouts out "Lets go outside". So I gave the harness another try and out we went.

 

Today I came home from work and was distracted as I walked past Tobies cage. He brought me out of my reverie by shouting out "open the cage". He combined phrases by changing "Open the door" to "Open the cage". He has never said "open the cage".

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Today I came home from work and was distracted as I walked past Tobies cage. He brought me out of my reverie by shouting out "open the cage". He combined phrases by changing "Open the door" to "Open the cage". He has never said "open the cage".

 

HUGE leap! This is clearly an excellent example that Tobie has a ground level understanding of the English language and correct sentence construction using words to form a new sentence .

 

Thanks for sharing this! :)

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I am not sure if this counts as cognition but I thought I would mention it. My husband is a very good musician. He has repeatedly noticed that when he plays his bass or sings, Hawkins will sing as well. Hawkins is only 6 months old and only sings in sounds, not human words. However, my husband has noticed that Hawkins seems to have an innate sense of harmony. Rather than just mimic the bass line or sounds of the song, he harmonizes and does so beautifully.

 

Hawkins is displaying that he is cognizant of musical rhythms. I would love to see a video of this! :)

 

What a smart young Grey!

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:cool:Spock here! Well, Joey and I got talking and decided we'd make Jayd's day! When Jay came home with Maggie, Joey and I said "Hi Jay" Jay said "WHAT!" so we said it again!!! everytime he came into the room!

Spock:rolleyes:

Live Long and Prosper..

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One of the questions that came to me while thinking about this is how well do they percieve the concept of numbers and math. <SNIP>

Hawkins definitely has a sense of the timing in the music. My husband is a drummer and bass player so time and rythym is big here. But the harmonies are also math in that the tones are a certain number up or down from the tone being played.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that most of creation uses math functions in their brain, whether they are aware of it or not is near impossible to prove, except in a case study such as Alex.

 

I do know, Ive been trying to teach Dayo Math from around 6 months onward and it is a challenge. He knows his number set 1 - 10 and zero. He knows a different number equals how many items I place in front of him. He also knows if he hears a varying number of "Kissing Sounds" they equal a value in numeric terms. The problem is, he rarely gets it "Right" at this point. He will even make say 4 kiss sounds, then say "Two" or make 7 kiss sounds and say "Nine". Then he will remain silent for around 20 seconds and say "Zero", which he always gets correct..... I can only assume it is because zero in his brain equals no sound, no object etc. I guess maybe I am expecting a lot out of a 3 year old. :P

 

All of creation uses music in some way as well. Music is math, in my mind. Everything has a rhythm, beat or tone and we can see everything in nature using it in one way of another. In fact, all life depends on the rhythms of sun, moon, tides and seasons etc.

 

In tying Math and Music together, it was Pythagoras who realized that different sounds can be made with different weights and vibrations. This led to his discovery that the pitch of a vibrating string is proportional to and can be controlled by its length. Strings that are halved in length are one octave higher than the original. In essence, the shorter the string, the higher the pitch. He also realized that notes of certain frequencies sound best with multiple frequencies of that note. For example, a note of 220Hz sounds best with notes of 440Hz, 660Hz, and so on. The closest tie between music and math is patterns. Musical pieces often have repeating choruses or bars, similar to patterns.

 

In mathematics, we look for patterns to explain and predict the unknown. Music uses similar strategies. When looking at a musical piece, musicians look for notes they recognize to find notes that are rare (high or low) and less familiar. In this way, notes relate to each other. Relationships are fundamental to mathematics and create an interesting link between music and math.

 

Sorry I got long winded in explaining my thoughts on this. Now that Ive bored everyone, I'll stop. :P

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Someone asked a little bit ago about older birds learning human speach. Yes, I think they can. My TAG Phenix was a rescue, probably wild caught & guessing 10-15 yo when I got him. When he finally started to talk, he spoke in my voice & everything was related to his surroundings at our house. I think he learned everything after he came to live here.

 

For the first 6 months he growled & screamed his misery while I talked & sang to him. Otherwise, he was utterly silent. Eventually, that changed to where he would quietly mumble to himself in a corner. He didn't want to draw attention to himself because I'd listen & he knew it. They're so hyper-aware of everything! The first thing he ever said to me was "What.!?" when he had had enough & wanted to be left alone. I thought it was coincidence until he said the same thing to the vet as he was observing him. That time, the attitude was unmistakable. :mad:

 

From the beginning, he has proven to me that he often knows just what he's saying...

 

"Good night" bed time prep. Also doubles for good bye when he knows I'm leaving the house

 

"No. Stoppit... Baaaddd!" He want's the dogs to stop rough-housing near his cage

 

"Sorry!!" He just bit someone

 

"U OK...?" Something loud & surprising happened or maybe he just bit someone & isn't the least sorry

 

"U OK...?" (then laughing) Something loud & surprising happened to someone he doesn't like

 

laughing in all the right & wrong places. Sometime he has a really nasty sense of humor!

sound of running water it's time to change the water dish

sound of swallowing You should be sharing something you're drinking

sound of crunching You should be sharing something you're eating

Windows sign-off sound You should get off the damned computer!

 

After 20 yrs, I honestly take communicating with him for granted. Yesterday, Phenix didn't want me to clean his cage. At some point, he slipped up behind me & very threateningly said, "Move!"

 

I automatically said, "Move, PLEASE." & moved on to clean a different part of the cage before I got bitten.

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OK, let me put some perspective on this topic of Dayo, his intelligence and numbers.

 

But, first I want to thank Crossfit for the Human child development table. It is a great cross section of what an average human child does. Some learn advanced skills earlier than others and some are slower than the average.

 

I also want to thank Jay for his reply. :)

 

But really, I am NOT an expert and am certainly NOT going where no man or woman has gone before with Greys.

 

Dr. Pepperberg scientifically proved what a Grey is capable of in regards speech, cognitive and math abilities. I am no where near that level and have very little documented other than my own videos and notes. I have no laboratory with other scientists confirming blind studies etc. I simply try to relate what he does or does not understand. I also try to help others if they want their Grey or any other parrot for that matter, to speak with meaning, which means they have developed a form of communicating with us at some level.

 

I have a 4 year old grand daughter that can count into the hundreds, add and subtract. She is far advanced for a normal 4 year old, but that is due to the teaching she has received at a special day care, from her parents and grand parents.

 

But, Dayo is not human and I do not expect him to get the numbers and counting correct for a LONG time. I am happy he just tries, which means he is starting to understand what I am try to communicate to him.

 

I do not for one minute believe Dayo is any more intelligent than anyone's Grey either and that includes whether they ever speak or not. Their intelligence is intact at a high level and they show it all the time without ever needing to "Talk. Even my Dogs cannot talk, but I know without a doubt they understand that sounds I make in my human voice mean the same thing every time I say and they respond accordingly. As far as I am concerned, I believe my dogs are just as intelligent as Dayo, if perhaps maybe even smarter.

 

Look at Dolphins. They cannot speak our language. But, scientists are saying their brain functions and dolphinese is rival the human language when communicating with each other.

 

I want to make certain, that no one that owns a Grey that does not speak Human, somehow becomes disappointed in them. Their Grey is a marvelous creature and believe me, it is as smart as any grey that decides to try and speak our language by making sounds that resemble ours. Just watch those human speechless greys and you will very quickly see, they, without a doubt understand what is being said. :)

 

I will say in regards any ones Grey or other Parrot speaking. That you should always be paying attention subconsciously when occupied with a PC or doing something else. We all know how smart they are and if they say something important to them and receive no response. They will after so many tries, decide they are not communicating correct with us and reduce attempts.

 

Example: I was sitting here at my PC early this morning. Dayo says " Dog gone it, shoot! Hmmmmmmm, What are you doing?" I hear and turn my head replying back with " I'm on the Computer, what are you doing?" Dayo replies "Whaaaat!" with an intense stare. My reaction was to get up and ask him what he wanted. He picked up his "Boing" (It's what I call a rubber toy with holes in it about 4 inches long and 3 inches in diameter) and threw it at me. We then played catch for a few minutes.

 

The reason I bothered to pass this on, is if you want your parrot to believe it is communicating with you correctly. You must respond to the tries with a correct answer or action. Note that I did not say it had to be human speech either, It could be a special sound or whistle your grey only uses for special items or actions it wants.

 

I hope this clarifies my level of knowledge and at what stage I am. Merely a student learning as I go... :)

Edited by danmcq

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OK, I want to say, I think Crossfit (Beth) was disappointed in a response here. I want to be VERY clear that I think she was "Spot on" with her great posts in this thread and I am truly disappointed those posts have now been deleted by her.

 

I value her as a contributor here and hope we have not lost her.

 

Beth - If you are monitoring emails from this forum, please do continue posting. I always enjoy reading your contributions. :)

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