Orthographic processing in animals: Implications for comparative psychologists


  • Fagot Joêl


  • Attention
  • Comparative cognition

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Two recent studies have shown that pigeons and baboons can discriminate written English words from nonwords, and these findings were interpreted as demonstrating that orthographic processing is possible in absence of linguistic knowledge. Here, I emphasize a different idea, which is that these studies also inform comparative psychologists on the evolutionary history of statistical learning in nonhuman animals, and on its pervasiveness and flexibility.

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