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Learning & Behavior Special Issue
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ISSN: 1543-4494 (Print)

1543-4508 (Online)

Learning & Behavior

Published four times a year.
(Mar, Jun, Sep, Dec)


Read the Issue
A special issue in honour of Stephen Lea - a true comparative psychologist
Guest Editors:
Lisa Leaver
University of Exeter, UK
Anna Wilkinson
University of Lincoln, UK

Also available:
All Things Cognition
A Psychonomic Society podcast
L&B Special Issue: Interview with Stephen Lea Part 1
L&B Special Issue: Interview with Stephen Lea Part 2

Special Issue in Honor of the
Contributions of Irene Pepperberg

Guest Editors:
Debbie M. Kelly, University of Manitoba, Canada
Lauren M. Guillette, University of Alberta, Canada; University of St Andrews, UK

The Comparative Cognition Society is proud to honor Dr. Irene M. Pepperberg with the Society’s annual Research Award. This recognition is bestowed upon an individual who has been selected by his or her scientific peers to have made an “outstanding contribution to the study of comparative cognition in animals.” The current Special Issue of Learning & Behavior (to be published in March 2021) is in tribute to Irene’s substantial impact on the field of comparative cognition, and her extensive outreach allowing the public to be better informed about the importance of animal cognition. As a recipient of the Research Award, Irene will be presenting a Master Lecture, and a symposium of invited internationally-recognized experts in the field of comparative cognition, will be organized. Although these events typically occur at the annual Comparative Cognition Conference (CO3) in the spring of the designated year, this year’s conference was canceled due to COVID19. Alternative means of celebrating this honor are in the works. 

Irene Pepperberg is most famously known for her research into the cognitive and communicative abilities of animals. Most notably her studies with the language-trained African Grey parrot Alex, and more recently Griffin and Athena, have revolutionized how the scientific and public communities think about bird cognition. Although areas such as animal cognition, cognitive biology or cognitive evolution are now widely recognized, these ideas were not always widely accepted. Pepperberg’s dedication and perseverance to investigating these important ideas helped forge a path for our understanding of the cognitive capabilities of animals, particularly with respect to symbolic representation, numerical competence, and inferential reasoning. Advances in our understanding of animal cognition have originated from Irene’s research on avian cognition, and her contribution to the fields of Psychology and Biology have been recognized through numerous honors, awards and invited membership to prestigious scientific societies and associations, including Radcliffe Institute and Guggenheim fellowships. Many societies, including AAAS, Psychonomics, APA, and APS have named her as an honorary Fellow. She has contributed to over 100 publications, with her top five most cited publications accumulating over 600 citations. Among many academics positions, Irene was a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, a Research Scientist at MIT Media Lab, and is currently a Research Associate in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Her mentorship of large numbers of undergraduates, many of whom have followed careers in areas such as veterinary medicine as well as academia, has been acknowledged most recently by Harvard’s Marquand Award. Her books Alex & Me, which was a New York Times best-seller and won a Christopher Award, and The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots, exemplify Irene’s commitment to making scientific research, and the importance of animal cognition, accessible to the general public. The field of comparative cognition is truly fortunate to have attracted the inquisitive and analytical mind of Irene Pepperberg from her from her initial studies in Chemical Physics (of which she has a PhD) to human-animal communication and cognition. 

Email Jonathon Crystal, Editor, Learning & Behavior, at


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(Open access to articles older than 12 months)


Editor in Chief

Jonathon D. Crystal
Indiana University Bloomington, USA

Associate Editors

Lauren M. Guillette
University of Alberta, Canada;
University of St Andrews, UK

Robin A. Murphy
University of Oxford, UK

Federico Sanabria
Arizona State University, USA

Amanda M. Seed
University of St Andrews, UK

Consulting Editors


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