The Jade Monkey

I didn't have a superiority complex until inferior people gave me one.

Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States


hallo and sayonara

From the Interesting News File, via yahoo: Rats May Be Multilingual. Neato.

Spanish researchers found that rats were able to use rhythm and intonation speech cues to distinguish between spoken Dutch and Japanese. This makes rats only the third type of mammal -- along with humans and Tamarin monkeys -- who have been shown to possess the ability to recognize different speech patterns.

"It was striking to find that rats can track certain information that seems to be so important in language development in humans," study author Juan Toro said in a prepared statement.

Being interested in linguistics this fascinates me, although I can see potential problems with leading/prompting, as seems to me to characterize most linguistic studies with animals (I think in the vast majority of cases this is quite unintenional though - just a case of people wanting too much for something to be true that they may miss a simpler explanation).

Speaking of rats and wanting too much for something to be true, the CBS report came out today... ;-)


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