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Body Language by Julius Fast

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11

Body Language: Use and Abuse

Let’s Talk to the Animals

A sign of the antiquity of body language and its supremacy over the spoken word has come from the studies of a husband and wife team of researchers, R. Allen and Beatrice T. Gardner of the University of Nevada. Pondering the many failures of psychologists to teach the anthropoid apes to speak, the Gardners decided to try gestures instead. Body language is a natural part of all animal behavior, they reasoned, and apes are familiar enough with body language to learn to use gestures for communication. This is particularly true of anthropoid apes, because they are initiative and manually dexterous.

The Gardners decided to teach a young female chimpanzee named Washoe the sign language ...

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