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Special Collections and Archives: On the Cutting Edge - Areas of Excellence at GSU: Language Research

This guide features an exhibit mounted in 2000 highlighting significant achievements in selected academic areas. Deans of each college submitted noteworthy areas of excellence.

Language Research

Remarkable developments in language research have occurred at the Language Research Center, directed by psychologist Duane Rumbaugh. Dr. Rumbaugh and his colleague, biologist Sue Savage Rumbaugh, demonstrated that chimpanzees can be taught to communicate using geometric symbols ("lexigrams") as words, that the chimps understand the meanings of the symbols, and that they can exchange information with each other using lexigrams.

Below: A chimp demonstrates use of the communication system, which consists of a series of computer-based keyboards inscribed with lexigram symbols. The knowledge gained through this research has been successfully used to teach language skills to severely retarded individuals.

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