Deborah L. Erickson
For over one hundred years parapsychological and Intuition research has supported the existence of cognitive “knowing” beyond the physical senses. Additional quantum physics research over the past decades has indicated a quantum field at the subatomic level of connectedness that Schrödinger described as “entanglement.” Electrophysiological evidence of intuition has shown that the heart’s and the whole body’s perceptions are constantly receiving, processing, and decoding intuitive information. Perhaps the heart, or the heart’s electromagnetic field maybe a source of intuition. Interspecies communication may be facilitated by utilizing specific meditation techniques to quiet the mind, slow the brain waves, and shift consciousness to a level outside of time and space.
Bennett G. Galef
A recent study shows that subordinate rats reduce their rate of sniffing while dominants explore their faces thus delaying dominants’ subsequent aggression. Sniffing not only facilitates acquisition of olfactory information, but unexpectedly, also serves as a medium for communication
Mark S. Seidenberg, Laura A. Peritto
Savage-Rumhaugh, McDonald, Sevcik, Hopkins, and Rupert's (1986) description of their pygmy chimpanzees' behavior raises many interesting questions about what they have learned. Their behavior is communicative, hut is it symbolic and how does it relate to the child's use of language7 et al. interpreted this behavior as "symbolic communication:' However, this interpretation does not account for significant aspects of the apes' performance. For example, Kanzi's performance on the vocabulary test differed greatly from his performance in naturalistic exchanges, which would not have been expected if he had in fact learned that lexigrams are symbols. The apes' performance is consistent with the hypothesis that they have learned the instrumental functions of lexigrams in the experimental context. That is, they use lexigmms to mediate the receipt of desired outcomes such as food or travel. This behavior, which Skinner (1957) termed manding, does not require knowledge of words or symbols at all. The apes' use of lexigrams appears to be more like the nonlinguistic gestural communication of very young children than the use of full lexical items. The dichotomy between the apes" linguistic and cognitive capacities is discussed in terms of implications concerning the possible species specificity of language.
Georgia State University
Seidenberg and Petitto's ( 1987) assertion that Kanzi and Mulika'slex.igram usage is not representational is evaluated by contrasting their abilities with Nim's. Kanzi and Mulika'sdata indicate that they (a) comprehend spoken English words; (b) can identify lexigram symbols when they hear these words; (c)can comprehend lexigram usage; (d) can use lexigrams when referents are absent and can, if asked, lead someone tothe referent; and (e) that all these skills were acquired through observation, not conditioning. Nim evidenced no comprehension of signs and could not use signswhen referents were absent. He was forced to sign and encouraged to imitate his teachers. Seidenberg and Petitto's negative experiences with Nim apparently led them to overgeneralize to all other apes, regardless of species, modality, or training history. Consequently, they unjustifiably disregard important components of Kanzi and Mulika's comprehension data which demonstrate that their lexical knowledge could not have been acquired in an instrumental fashion.