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According to a list of publications on the Gorilla Foundation’s website, this isn’t entirely accurate. They’ve published three papers in the past decade—the latest in 2010—but only one is about gorillas’ cognitive abilities. According to the paper, the data are observational, and come from “unpublished, internal-use video” created by Patterson and another Gorilla Foundation employee, as well as “unpublished lists of Koko’s sign lexicon” and a 1978 paper where Patterson describes Koko’s earliest signs. There is currently no data or video from the Gorilla Foundation available to outside scientists, which makes it difficult for others to evaluate the foundation’s claims. (The Gorilla Foundation says it has been focusing efforts on digitizing its data, and recently announced a project to make it available to researchers.) In lieu of other data to evaluate, a transcript from Koko’s 1998 AOL chat, in which Koko signed something and Patterson translated for the audience, offers an interesting glimpse into how Patterson interprets Koko’s signs. An excerpt:


Microsoft’s celebration for all the people currently working on the PowerPoint team was held at the Silicon Valley Campus on 17 August 2007. The photo shows special guests Tom Rudkin, Bob Gaskins, and Dennis Austin (L. to R., GBU Wizards #3, #1, and #2) collaborating to solve how to divide a cake into 200 equal portions; the cake’s inscription reads “Happy 20th Year Anniversary PowerPoint!”

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