Des Moines, Iowa May 1, 2009 When Dr. Paul Naour was looking for a conclusion to his book detailing a previously unknown 1987 tape recording of a conversation regarding human behavior between theorists E.O. Wilson and B.F. Skinner, he found it at Great Ape Trust, a scientific research institute in Des Moines, Iowa, studying the origins and future of language, culture, tools and intelligence.
In E.O. Wilson and B.F. Skinner: A Dialogue Between Sociobiology and Radical Behaviorism (Springer 2009, Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-387-89461-4), Naour uses Great Ape Trust Scientist Emeritus Dr. Duane Rumbaugh's theory of rational behaviorism and emergents as a bridge between two very different schools of thought. Rumbaugh and colleagues published their theory in 2002, offering a substantially new perspective of learning and behavior that generates a new class of behaviors called emergents.
"Rumbaugh's rational behaviorism can connect the (operant) behavioral basis of sociobiology with a perspective that includes cognition and the biological basis for behavior, while it guides behaviorism into the 21st century," Naour wrote in his prologue.
The geographic proximity of Great Ape Trust to Central College, a private liberal arts school in Pella, Iowa, provided a serendipitous opportunity for Naour, professor of behavioral neuroscience, to learn from Rumbaugh, who he calls one of the world's most accomplished primatologists. After a distinguished research and teaching career that included Yerkes Primate Center at Emory University and Georgia State University, where he cofounded the Language Research Center, Rumbaugh moved professionally to Des Moines when the LRC's bonobo research program moved to Great Ape Trust.
In the book's acknowledgements, Naour said Rumbaugh's "intellectual life has been one long and elegant argument supporting rational behaviorism and its essential concept of emergents."
"I see Duane's work almost as important as Skinner's and Wi
|Contact: Al Setka|
Great Ape Trust of Iowa