Navigation Links
The ultimate chimp challenge
Date:2/23/2013

A study, published today by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), shows that just like humans love getting stuck into a crossword, chimpanzees get the same feeling of satisfaction from completing tricky puzzles.

Scientists set up a challenge for six chimpanzees at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo using plumbing pipes from a DIY store. The challenge involved moving red dice through a network of pipes until they fell into an exit chamber. This could only be achieved by the chimps prodding sticks into holes in the pipes to change the direction of the dice. The same task was also carried out with Brazil nuts, but the exit chamber removed so that the nuts fell out as a tasty treat for the chimps.

The paper was published today in the American Journal of Primatology.

ZSL researcher Fay Clark says: "We noticed that the chimps were keen to complete the puzzle regardless of whether or not they received a food reward. This strongly suggests they get similar feelings of satisfaction to humans who often complete brain games for a feel-good reward."

The adult family group of chimpanzees at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo consist of two females and four males, three of which are half-brothers: Phil, Grant and Elvis. This study allowed them to solve a novel cognitive problem in their normal social grouping, by choice. In addition, the chimpanzees were not trained on how to use the device.

"For chimps in the wild, this task is a little bit like foraging for insects or honey inside a tree stump or a termite mound; except more challenging because the dice do not stick to the tool," Fay added.

The challenge, which only cost about 40 to make, was made more intricate by connecting many pipes together, and the level further increased by making pipes opaque so chimpanzees could only see the dice or nuts through small holes.

The chimps took part in the cognitive challenge as part of their normal daily routine and doing the brain teaser was completely voluntarily. As part of the Zoo's enrichment programme, they also receive tasty treats hidden in boxes, as well as pillows and blankets every night to make up their own beds. Chimps build their own nests every night in the wild, and this enrichment encourages the animals' natural behaviours.

This study suggests that like humans, chimpanzees are motivated to solve a puzzle when there is no food reward. They do so for the sake of the challenge itself. It also suggests that chimpanzee cognition can be measured on social groups under more naturalistic conditions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Smita Chandra
smita.chandra@zsl.org
020-744-96288
Zoological Society of London
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Engineered bacteria can make the ultimate sacrifice
2. Crayfish species proves to be the ultimate survivor
3. UCSB anthropologist studies reciprocity among chimpanzees and bonobos
4. Sanctuary chimps show high rates of drug-resistant staph
5. When it comes to food, chimps only think of themselves
6. Chimpanzee ground nests offer new insight into our ancestors descent from the trees
7. Nearby chimpanzee populations show much greater genetic diversity than distant human populations
8. Conference on securing the future supply of food: Challenges and opportunities
9. Winners of 10th annual International Science & Technology Visualization Challenge announced
10. New dinosaur fossil challenges bird evolution theory
11. Preventing climate change: The size of the energy challenge
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/18/2016)... , Jan. 18, 2016  Extenua Inc., a ... simplifies the use and access of ubiquitous on-premise ... partnership with American Cyber.  ... experience leading transformational C4ISR and Cyber initiatives in ... the latest proven technology solutions," said Steve ...
(Date:1/11/2016)... JOSE, Calif. , Jan. 11, 2016 ... of human interface solutions, today announced that its ClearPad ... driver integration (TDDI) products won two separate categories in ... Best Mobile Innovator and Best Technology Breakthrough. The Synaptics ... system cost, a simplified supply chain, thinner devices, brighter ...
(Date:1/7/2016)... 2016 This BCC Research report studies the ... and devices, identifying newer markets and exploring the expansion ... biometric devices. Includes forecast from 2015 to 2020. ... and explore the expansion of the present application market ... of biometric technology, determine its current market size, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/6/2016)... Virginia (PRWEB) , ... February 06, 2016 , ... ... E-mail: amitchell(at)cee(dot)org , The Center for Excellence in Education Sponsors Teacher Training ... VA – February 4, 2016 – The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 5, 2016 On Thursday, February 11, ... for community, health and disaster services, and the ... to enhance care coordination and service delivery for the ... need and to better connect service providers to the ... San Diego has handled more than ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... compliance training, today announced an interactive FDA compliance training course, ... (Regulatory Affairs Professional Society) accredited interactive course on Morf Playbook—now conveniently available on ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments will showcase several new ... poster sessions, and present on the analysis of mycotoxins and medical cannabis at ... 10 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. , Attendees ...
Breaking Biology Technology: