Koko the gorilla shows ability to control vocal patterns, study finds

Koko the gorilla, known for her ability to use sign language to communicate with humans, has learned vocal patterns and breathing control associated with human speech, according to a study published in Animal Cognition. Scientists previously thought it was impossible for gorillas to vocalize in that way. “She shows the potential under the right environment conditions for apes to develop quite a bit of flexible control over their vocal tract. It’s not as fine as human control, but it is certainly control,” said Marcus Perlman, who along with colleagues, studied hours of video showing Koko interacting with her minders. The Christian Science Monitor (8/15)

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