Recently, professor of Child Language is talking about sign language and its early development. When I heard sign language, the fascinating gorilla Koko showed up in my mind. If you don’t know who is Koko, you can watch other videos about her first. She can do sign language and that is already very impressive, but the most fascinating part is that by communicating with her, we can have a sneak peak in her mind. She can not only understand the basic vocabulary and meanings but also comprehend complex or abstract concepts. The video below is the best example of all.
The researcher gave her cats to play with as a prize for her learning efforts. When Koko first played with them, they were all kitten then. Koko showed surprisingly tenderness and care to the cats. She especially loved one of them. The lovely friendship between Koko and the cat last for a long while, but one day the cat was hit by car and died. The video below is about the researcher informing Koko the death of the cat. Koko understood it and she was very sad, she cried alone in her room whole night. Some people and researchers think that animals don’t have moral concept since they are not complex enough in language performance and cognitive abilities. But, I believe that is not correct at all. Koko is the best example to refute this point.
In the near future, I hope that I can study more about cognition and language, and do a deeper analysis on the topic of animal cognitive abilities and language concepts. Believe is not enough, scientific method is the only way to prove it.