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Dr. Beatrix T. Gardner, a psychologist who v her husband, Dr. R. Allen Gardner, teach a chimpanzee authorize language in the 1960's and the 1970's, died while traveling with her husband in Padua, Italy, ~ above June 5. She to be 61 and also lived in Reno.

Reached yesterday in ~ the college of Nevada in Reno, where he and his mam had worked as a team, her husband stated the cause of fatality was a central nervous infection. He reported her death this week.

In the 1970's the pair announced the by elevating a chimpanzee, Washoe, in the path of a person child they had actually taught the ape to communicate using signs similar to those widely used by deaf person beings.

Since then, various other researchers have likewise reported success in training primates to communicate without relying on speech, together by pushing particular buttons top top a keyboard. At the time of the Gardner announcement, Dr. Peter R. Marler the Rockefeller university termed their work-related "brilliant and also exciting."


That such pets actually learned a "language" has, however, been challenged. Amongst the unbelievable is Dr. Herbert S. Terrace, a Columbia university psychologist, that has argued that his chimpanzee experiments have shown that an ape cannot, in any kind of meaningful way, affix "words" right into sentences.

Beatrix Tugendhut Gardner was born ~ above July 13, 1933, in Vienna and was living in Poland at the moment of the Nazi invasion. The family members escaped come Brazil and lived for six years in a suburb that Sao Paulo before moving to the united States.

Dr. Gardner, whose an initial name was sometimes written Beatrice,earned a bachelor's degree at Radcliffe College and also a master's degree at Brown University. She received a doctorate in zoology in ~ Oxford university in England in 1959. She studied the stickleback, a fish whose male builds a nest for his mate. She returned to the joined States and taught at Wellesley College, wherein she met Dr. Gardner, that was examining rats.

They learned of the adverse behavioral effect on rhesus chimpanzees reared in isolation and also ultimately determined to inspection the duty of parent-child relationships in the upbringing that chimpanzees. Castle married in 1961, moved to the university of Nevada in 1963, and also in 1966 started trying to teach Washoe, a 10-month-old mrs ape, to usage signals indigenous Ameslan, the American sign Language.

In 1967, once Washoe to be 15 month old, lock reported early results come a meeting of the American Association because that the advancement of science in brand-new York. They said Washoe had learned signs for hundreds of words.


The Gardners reported that the chimpanzee developed expressions choose "water birds" for a pair the swans and "open flower" to acquire admittance come a flower garden. Washoe even seemed to it is in teaching sign language to a young companion. The Gardners did similar tests v four more chimpanzees: Moja, Pili, Tatu and Dar.

Skeptics suggested that these claims could it is in a product that inadvertent coaching or wishful thinking.

Other than her husband, Dr. Gardner had no instant survivors.

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But the chimpanzee job continues. Washoe just celebrated her 30th birthday. She stays in Ellensburg, Wash., at the Chimpanzee and Human interactions Institute, said Deborah Fouts, who v her husband, Roger, is co-director of the institute.