Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary

Scientists' Books

With Apes in Mind: Emergents, Communication & Competence
Author: Duane Rumbaugh
Publisher:  PbPress, 2013

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Duane Rumbaugh, a highly acclaimed primatologist, tells the story of his ground breaking research with Lana, the first chimpanzee to communicate with humans using a computer keyboard.  This richly illustrated narrative of his investigations into primate learning, cognition, intelligence and language first at the San Diego Zoo(1955) and later at the Language Research Center in Georgia is fun, highly informative, insightful and entertaining.  He describes methods of study that worked and those that didn’t.
All proceeds from this book will go directly to support the apes he describes and their families.  Please help us to Help the Apes!





Kanzi: The Ape At The Brink Of The Human Mind
Author: Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Roger Lewin
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York, Chichester, Brisbane,Toronto and Singapore, 1994

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When ape-language research fell into disfavor in the 1970s, Savage-Rumbaugh, associate professor of biology at Georgia State Univ. and a leading researcher in the field, set a new course, focusing on apes' ability to comprehend symbols. At the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta, she worked with common chimpanzees and bonobos (pygmy chimps), using a computer-based keyboard system. With Roger Lewin (coauthor with Richard Leakey of Origins), she tells the remarkable story of Kanzi, a bonobo who at 14 understands spoken English well enough that his teachers spell out words they don't want him to hear. He asks and answers questions and invents games by manipulating an electronic keyboard. His accomplishments prove chimps can spontaneously acquire language skills through social interaction in a language-rich environment. For readers interested in the origin of language and those who have followed Washoe, Koko and Lucy. Photos not seen by PW. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.



Kanzi's Primal Language
Author: Par Segerdahl, William Fields and Sue Savage-Rumbaugh
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Sue Savage-Rumbaugh's work on the language capabilities of the bonobo Kanzi has intrigued the world because of its far-reaching implications for understanding the evolution of the human language. This book takes the reader behind the scenes of the filmed language tests. It argues that while the tests prove that Kanzi has language, the even more remarkable manner in which he originally acquired it - spontaneously, in a culture shared with humans - calls for a re-thinking of language, emphasizing its primal cultural dimensions.





Apes, Language and the Human Mind
Author: Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Stuart G. Shanker and Talbot J. Taylor
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (June 18, 1998)

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Kanzi, a male bonobo (an ape sometimes called a pygmy chimpanzee), has been under the care of language researcher Savage-Rumbaugh since infancy. Over a period of 18 years, he has learned to communicate his wants and to respond to spoken English by means of pictorial symbols called lexigrams. His communicative capability is about equal to that of a two-and-a-half-year-old human child. The first third of the book presents Savage-Rumbaugh's clear and entertaining account of Kanzi's upbringing. The remainder, largely written by the other two authors, is an argument in academic prose addressed primarily to critics who "insist that no ape has ever developed truly linguistic skills." The authors declare their "shared belief that the Kanzi research presents a serious and effective challenge not only to scientific thinking about the cognitive and communicational capacities of nonhuman primates, but also to received knowledge concerning the possession of those capacities by humans."



Language, Comprehension in Ape and Child (Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development)
Author: Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Jeannine Murphy, Rose A. Sevcik, Karen E. Brakke, Shelly L. Williams and Duane M. Rumbaugh
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (July 1993)

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Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh's work with Kanzi, the first ape to learn language in the same manner as children, was detailed in Language Comprehension in Ape and Child published in Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development (1993). It was selected by the "Millennium Project" as one of the top 100 most influential works in cognitive science in the 20th century by the University of Minnesota Center for Cognitive Sciences in 1991.





Intelligence Of Apes And Other Rational Beings
Author: Duane M. Rumbaugh and David A. Washburn
Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2003

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Prominent behavioral scientists Rumbaugh and Washburn are highly persuasive in their thesis that animals are rational, making decisions by using higher reasoning skills, not by trial and error and not by reacting in simple stimulus-response fashion to their environs. Yet the authors' theory of primate learning and intelligence, a framework they dub "rational behaviorism," fits with Skinnerian and Pavlovian models of conditioning in its explanations of more complex behaviors. For Rumbaugh and Washburn, the key is not simply in studying the response to the stimulus, but the process by which the response is formed, a process far more rich, involved and rational in its cognitive workings than many give animals credit for. The authors describe innovative studies, by themselves and by other researchers in the field, showing that primates can think in abstract symbols, learn through observation, and understand and react to human speech. The most engaging portion of the book focuses on language learning in primates, including descriptions of several ingenious experiments at the San Diego Zoo. Though earnestly written in a clear style, the book will most likely appeal to academics and students of animal behavior, as it reads like an engaging textbook, with some of the scientific explanations verging on dry. For those with an interest in primate intelligence and some scientific background, this passionately argued and well-substantiated summation judiciously renders the complexities of the animal mind. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Primate Perspectives on Behavior and Cognition
Author: David A. Washburn (Editor), Duane M. Rumbaugh (Editor)
Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA); 1 edition (August 30, 2006)

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In Primate Perspectives on Behavior and Cognition, experts with a diverse range of perspectives explore the contributions made to the study of primate cognition and behavior and provide guideposts for new generations of researchers studying behavior as manifested across primate species. The contributors first explore commonly used research methodology and then look at the groundbreaking content of recent research. Throughout this volume, contributors provide rich data and discussion of cutting-edge studies. In addition to serving as a comprehensive and integrative review of a wide range of research areas, the chapters in this volume establish a research agenda for years (and careers) to come. This book will be a vital resource for researchers in comparative psychology and cognitive psychology as well as for behaviorists, neuropsychologists, biopsychologists, and developmental psychologists.



Animal Bodies, Human Minds: Ape, Dolphin, And Parrot Language Skills
Author: W.A. Hilliz and Duane Rumbaugh
Publisher: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York

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Several books chronicle attempts, most of them during the last 40 years, to teach animals to communicate with people in a human-designed language. These books have typically treated only one or two species, or even one or a few research projects. We have provided a more encompassing view of this field. We also want to reinforce what other authors, for example Jane Goodall, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Penny Patterson, Birute Galdikas, and Roger and Deborah Fouts, so passionately convey about our responsibility for our closest animal kin. This book surveys what was known, or believed about animal language throughout history and prehistory, and summarizes current knowledge and the controversy around it. The authors identify and attempt to settle most of the problems in interpreting the animal behaviours that have been observed in studies of animal language ability.




Great Apes & Humans: The Ethics Of Coexistence
Author: Edited by Benjamin B. Beck, Tara S. Stoinksi, et al
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London, 2001

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Great Apes and Humans is the first book to present a spectrum of viewpoints on human responsibilities toward great apes. A variety of field biologists, academic scientists, zoo professionals, psychologists, sociologists, ethicists, and legal scholars consider apes in both the wild and captivity.

Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary
4200 Evergreen Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50320
Ph: 515.243.3580
About Us
The Iowa Primate Learning Sanctuary in Des Moines Iowa is dedicated to the conservation and protection of Great Apes worldwide as well as responsible and sustainable research aimed at uncovering the evolutionary origins of human behavior, cognition and communication. We further aim to use the knowledge we gain from studies with great apes to better humanity.
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