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Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 28. Oktober 2008

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Pressestimmen

“[Pepperberg’s] book movingly combines the scientific detail of a researcher...with the affectionate understanding that children instinctively possess....” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times)

“To anyone who’s dreamed of talking with the animals, Dr. Doolittle style, Alex was a revelation…This ornery reviewer tried to resist Alex’s charms on principle. But his achievements got the better of me…Alex was a celebrity, and this book will surely please his legions of fans.” (New York Times Book Review)

“A moving tribute that beautifully evokes ‘the struggles, the initial triumphs, the setbacks, the unexpected and often stunning achievements’ during a grounbreaking scientific endeavor...” (Publishers Weekly)

“A fascinating look at animal intelligence, Pepperberg’s tale is also a love story between beings who sometimes ‘squabble like an old married couple’ but whose bond broke only with Alex’s death at 31 in ‘07. Irresistible.” (People)

“Highly readable...” (Booklist)

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On September 6, 2007, an African Grey parrot named Alex died prematurely at age thirty-one. His last words to his owner, Irene Pepperberg, were "You be good. I love you."

What would normally be a quiet, very private event was, in Alex's case, headline news. Over the thirty years they had worked together, Alex and Irene had become famous—two pioneers who opened an unprecedented window into the hidden yet vast world of animal minds. Alex's brain was the size of a shelled walnut, and when Irene and Alex first met, birds were not believed to possess any potential for language, consciousness, or anything remotely comparable to human intelligence. Yet, over the years, Alex proved many things. He could add. He could sound out words. He understood concepts like bigger, smaller, more, fewer, and none. He was capable of thought and intention. Together, Alex and Irene uncovered a startling reality: We live in a world populated by thinking, conscious creatures.

The fame that resulted was extraordinary. Yet there was a side to their relationship that never made the papers. They were emotionally connected to one another. They shared a deep bond far beyond science. Alex missed Irene when she was away. He was jealous when she paid attention to other parrots, or even people. He liked to show her who was boss. He loved to dance. He sometimes became bored by the repetition of his tests, and played jokes on her. Sometimes they sniped at each other. Yet nearly every day, they each said, "I love you."

Alex and Irene stayed together through thick and thin—despite sneers from experts, extraordinary financial sacrifices, and a nomadic existence from one univer­sity to another. The story of their thirty-year adventure is equally a landmark of scientific achievement and of an unforgettable human-animal bond.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Seit ich vor etwa zehn Jahren das erste Mal einen Bericht über den berühmten Graupapageien las, hat Alex mich interessiert. Sowohl als Tierliebhaberin wie auch als Sozialpädagogin mit rudimentären Kenntnissen der Psychologie faszinierten mich die Methodik Irene Pepperbergs bei der Arbeit mit ihrem gefiederten Studenten und die bahnbrechenden Erkenntnisse, die sie daraus gewann.

Nun ist es gewiss nicht leicht für Laien und Beinahe-Laien, Pepperberg's erstes Buch, "The Alex Studies," zu lesen und völlig zu verstehen. "Alex and Me" jedoch, ihr sehr persönlicher Bericht über die dreißig Jahre, die sie Alex studiert und versorgt hat, ist ein wunderbares Einstiegswerk für jeden, der sich für diesen erstaunlichen grauen Federball mit einem Gehirn von der Größe einer Walnuss interessiert.

Das Buch beginnt mit dem Ende: mit Alex' plötzlichem und unerklärlichen Tod im September 2007. Am Abend vor seinem Tod waren seine letzten Worte zu Irene Pepperberg: "You be good. I love you".

Irene Pepperberg beschreibt, wie vollkommen unvorbereitet sie auf den emotionalen Schock dieses Verlusts war, hatte sie doch gemeint, die wissenschaftliche Distanz zu ihrem Versuchspartner gewahrt zu haben.

Von dem Ende ihrer Freundschaft mit Alex ausgehend, beschreibt Pepperberg einen Bogen, der von ihrem ersten Wellensittich über ihre erstaunliche wissenschaftliche Karriere (Studium der Chemie am MIT, Doktorat in Harvard)zu ihrem Interessenwechsel, der sie nach Abschluss ihrer Doktorarbeit zur Arbeit mit Alex und der Erforschung der kognitiven Fähigkeiten von Papageien führte. Anschaulich beschreibt sie ihre Motivation dafür, die so stark war, dass sie sich allen Schwierigkeiten widersetzte.
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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Wer Papageien mag, der wird dieses Buch lieben. Das Buch ist sehr interessant und lehrreich, meist extrem lustig und natürlich ziemlich traurig bei Alex' Tod. Aber in jedem Falle lesenswert und eigentlich ein Muss für Papageien-Liebhaber!
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Format: Taschenbuch
Als liefhebber en houder van grijze roodstaartpapegaaien was het onderzoek van cognitief psycholoog Irene M. Pepperberg met het Avian Learning Experiment: Alex, haar grijze roodstaartpapegaai een bijzonder experiment. Pepperberg onderzocht de cognitieve mogelijkheden bij grijze roodstaartpapegaaien, waarbij grijze roodstaartpapegaai Alex (1976-2007) vriend en vijand verbaasde over zijn intellectuele vermogens. Het boek beschrijft niet zozeer het onderzoek, maar de intense relatie tussen de onderzoeker (Pepperberg) en Alex over een periode van maar liefst 31 jaar. Met veel passie vertelt Pepperberg hoe Alex in haar leven kwam, hoe hij haar hart veroverde en haar verbaasde met zijn vaardigheden: hij kon niet alleen tellen, maar ook kleur onderscheiden, vormen benoemen en combinaties hiervan foutloos onderscheiden en in het Engels aangeven. Ook bleek al snel dat Alex ook gevoelig was voor stemmingen: in een relatiecrisis van zijn onderzoekster, was hij bijzonder empathisch, bij een infectieziekte van hemzelf had hij last van zelfmedelijden en tijdens zijn herstel was hij erg veeleisend: hij bood zijn oppasser verschillende stukjes fruit aan en toen deze niet voldoende reageerde, riep hij: Well, what do you want? (Wat wil je nu eigenlijk?).
Het verhaal kan op veel mensen ongeloofwaardig overkomen, maar na zelf ruim 10 jaar met grijze roodstaartpapegaaien gewerkt te hebben, weet ik zeker dat Pepperberg geen woord overdreven heeft. De wereld van deze mooie papegaaien is veel groter dan wij (willen) aannemen, dit boek laat zien dat grijze roodstaartpapegaaien de teksten niet napraten, maar bewust met de taal spelen en daardoor echt met ons kunnen communiceren.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen 319 Rezensionen
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Brought back memories and smiles 2. September 2015
Von Kathy Weber - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
What an amazing journey! I lived with a Grey back in the mid 70's, wish I had know more about parrots at the time. I was a teen just out of high school, dad bought him because he always wanted one. Romeo (who later became Juliet 4 years later when she laid eggs) was creative and playful. And I've learned since then that she loved me, I didn't understand her behavior fully, there was no internet back then so i had to surmise her actions were positive towards me. She too liked to play games, such as the time I had just installed a smoke detector in the hallway outside my bathroom. her cage was about 10 feet away in the kitchen but in view of that hallway. I was in the shower when the detector went off, i was home alone. I panicked and jumped out of the shower and went into the hallway where the alarm was not going off. I was perplexed until about a minute later. Juliet imitated the alarm and followed that up with a laugh! It took her one day to learn the sound and she thought it was funny that I reacted! Smart bird. There are more things that she did too. I miss her. Thanks for taking the time to write this book, it brought back memories while learning about the intelligence, which we know better today exists in all living creatures.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Buy This Book Instead Of A Parrot 29. Januar 2017
Von Dario Gerussi - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This beautiful story lets us know how intelligent and loving these birds are.

But to fully appreciate them, we should let them be free in the wild. They've been evolving for millions of years to fly above the jungle and socialize with their peers. The same way we feel good when we use our arms and legs, and socialize with fellow humans because of our internal reward system that has been developing for thousands of generations, they are rewarded when they fly high and hang out with fellow greys.

That being said, if you're thinking about buying a parrot, buy this book instead. You'll be happier and you'll liberate yourself from the desire of keeping captive such an intelligent individual that was born to fly free.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen cute but more scientific than bird story 16. Januar 2014
Von SamanthaJo - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
I love parrots and I wanted to read this book on Alex and learn of his intelligence. He was a very smart bird and at the time, he was making changes in the world of science. But I thought this book would be more on Alex, not more on Irene. It was good, but it was more her story than Alex’s. It was very interesting to see what he did in learning throughout his life time. But it could have been better if it had less on Irene, as example, her married life. And we all know he died in the end, but the book is not clear on the WHY he died. Technically, Alex could have lived many more years than what he did, but the book does not tell us what happened and why he died so early on. This is a decent book, and has some cute stories on Alex. I would recommend this to any bird lover, and anyone who wants to know how much a bird can actually learn, that is scientifically proven. This book made me fall more in love with parrots.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A great book to understand Avian Learning. 7. September 2012
Von Gregory Stewart - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This is a terrific book.

The first part is about the author's young life and sets the table perfectly for the rest of the book. We understand not only the motivation for the Avian Learning EXperiment, but we get behind the scenes and understand how Pepperberg learns the kind of intuition needed to make Alex the superstar that he was.

Pepperberg is a real and rigorous scientist, but in this book, she shares non-scientific anecdotes that never-the-less have great significance. Alex gives incorrect answers to manipulate his handlers, or creates questions for his handlers to ask so that he can display new concepts. It would be hard to believe, except that the chimp Washoe lied to his handlers about smoking, so that he wouldn't get in trouble for poking holes in a screen. In the aggregate, the behavior of these non-human study subjects tend to prove that abstract thought is widely dispersed through the Earth's species. Additionally, the creation of compound words like Banerry and cork nut (apple and almond) demonstrate sophisticated vocabulary association.

By the way, I can only wish that there was a video of Alex spelling out "Nnnn Uhhh Tttt" when he was not getting what he wanted.

Pepperberg just hints at what is missing. Ward is a party animal, and Griffin is shyer and quieter. (Both younger Grey Parrots.) They develop with personalities just as unique as those found in any pre-school class. If Pepperberg were to field an entire class of say 15 Grey Parrots, how many would develop the vocal skills of Alex, or the Alpha personality? Would they teach each other vocabulary? In simian studies, chimps often taught their young the sign language that they learned from humans.

Since Greys are flock animals, they both compete with each other, and come together with each other, how would that play out in a situation where the Greys are developing their own sub-culture? In a class of 15 how many would be as bright as Alex? How many would be brighter? Remember Alex was picked at random from a Chicago pet store.

At the end you feel the sadness that Professor Pepperberg felt and you realize how much we lost when Alex died. But, you also realize how much more we can learn.
4.0 von 5 Sternen Greays are people to. 20. März 2014
Von francis - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Very touthing tale about how these amazing creatures worm their way into your heart. It's fascinating to see just how smart and charming these birds can be.
I have a great. And to loose her would be the death of me. I. Along with Dr. Pepperburg was not expecting the attacent we feel with these special companions. For me. It's nothing like owning a dog. The bird owns you. I never felt such love for a pet. This book shows how smart and wimisical these creatures can be. But if you own a gray. You already know that. Picked it up. And dident put it down till the end. This book will open your eyes to the insight and feelings of all animals. Dr. Pepperburgs work has enlightened the scientific comunity that animals are not mingles bags of meat roaming around their for our taking. She truly is a modern day Dr. Dolite. Great important work to enlighten an agaront species. Us.
I don't care if you have ice in your veins. This book will melt your heart.
I still cry for Alex.
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