Can animals communicate with humans?


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For many years now people have been studying animal communication and comparing it with human communication. Typically, there are many differences between human and anima behavior. There are some times when animal behavior may mirror human behavior in different ways. Although information about the relationship between human and animal communication is still in its early stages, the information that is being gathered is revealing a lot about how primates relate to each other and to humans psycholinguistics. The main animals researchers have been focusing on have been primates. There have been many analysis tested, based on evaluations of primates and how well they where able to communicate. Evaluations are done by teaching primates how to use the lexigram, sign language, and vocal sound. The positive outcomes depended on how well the primates progressed from the beginning of the research to the end.

 The Lana project is a well-known study done on a female chimpanzee. In this research Lana was taught how to use a language training system that was computer based to communicate similarly to human psycholinguistics. Lana was able to distinguish many terms and relate them to the symbols. At the end of the study Lana was able to tell researchers to fill her treats by pointing to the symbol relating to the treats. When studying apes and the way that they learn we may be looking very closely into our pasts on how humans learned how to communicate. But still many people may argue that apes are simply imitating human's actions.  From many of the researches being done I do believe that ape are able to understand and communicate but will never progress to the level of communication of humans. Do you believe animals are capable of communicating or do you think its all imitation?

5 Comments

i think some animals seem like they are trying speak to us but they cant because they cant talk. i think that Apes are the closes animals to humans. i think it could be probably possible to have them learn how to talk. as it is i have seen videos of Apes doing incredible things, off course thanks to people who train them. some animals like parrots are pretty amazing because they can talk, but sometimes i do wonder if they actually understand what they are saying, maybe it is just imitations and not real talking. Animals do go through evolution although it takes many years who knows maybe we will have a talking animal soon.

I feel like all animals can communicate with each other through emotions and body language. Obviously we don't speak the same language as other animals, but through voice tones and other universal signs, I believe other species can understand us to a certain extent. This is a very interesting topic because at first, most people would say that it's impossible to communicate with other animals. But once you look into it, people start to realize that we are somewhat able to. However, I was wondering if animals can understand the connotation of any words that we say, like "sit" for dogs.

I was searching this topic up after reading your blog and I found some really interesting information saying that often times communication one has with a animal often comes from the connection and emotional attachment the owner has with the animal and that animals can feel emotion similar to how we humans do. Therefore they can distinguish how you are feeling based how how you interact with them on a regular basis, but then the question is raised is this a form of communication or just simply detection?

What an interesting topic. I have pets of my own that I frequently talk to. I feel like they understand me or at least I think they do by the way they respond sometimes. But from your blog and articles, it seems to me that animals do just immitate. Animals usually will respond because they've been trained to do so and rewarded. In their f they keep doing those tricks and commands then they'll be rewarded again. They sure must have great memories for their humans verbal commands and physical gestures.

Well I think to answer your question you have to consider a few different things.

1) Some animals already act more human-like than others. Just like some animals can be domesticated, and some can't. Take the primates, for example. They've been known to be more human-like.

2) There is a LOT of imitation. Consider parrots. Do they actually learn anything, or are they just repeating what you say? They don't put sentences or phrases together on their own, so they're not really learning speech. They're just repeating things that you've already said.

This being said, much in the same way animals can communicate with eachother, I believe they can communicate with humans. My cats, for example, will do certain things to tell me that they're hungry. Like pestering me and rubbing up against me until I stand up, and then as soon as I get up they run to their food bowl. Just because they can't speak, or don't really understand what we're saying, they do have their own ways to communicate how their feeling and their needs.

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