Navigation Links
Young chimps top adult humans in numerical memory
Date:12/3/2007

Young chimpanzees have an extraordinary ability to remember numerals that is superior to that of human adults, researchers report in the December 4th issue of Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press.

There are still many people, including many biologists, who believe that humans are superior to chimpanzees in all cognitive functions, said Tetsuro Matsuzawa of Kyoto University. No one can imagine that chimpanzeesyoung chimpanzees at the age of fivehave a better performance in a memory task than humans. Here we show for the first time that young chimpanzees have an extraordinary working memory capability for numerical recollectionbetter than that of human adults tested in the same apparatus, following the same procedure.

Chimpanzee memory has been extensively studied, the researchers said. The general assumption is that, as with many other cognitive functions, it is inferior to that of humans. However, some data have suggested that, in some circumstances, chimpanzee memory may indeed be superior to human memory.

In the current study, the researchers tested three pairs of mother and infant chimpanzees (all of which had already learned the ascending order of Arabic numerals from 1 to 9) against university students in a memory task of numerals. One of the mothers, named Ai, was the first chimpanzee who learned to use Arabic numerals to label sets of real-life objects with the appropriate number.

In the new test, the chimps or humans were briefly presented with various numerals from 1 to 9 on a touch-screen monitor. Those numbers were then replaced with blank squares, and the test subject had to remember which numeral appeared in which location and touch the squares in the appropriate order.

The young chimpanzees could grasp many numerals at a glance, with no change in performance as the hold durationthe amount of time that the numbers remained on the screenwas varied, the researchers found. In general, the performance of the three young chimpanzees was better than that of their mothers. Likewise, adult humans were slower than all of the three young chimpanzees in their response. For human subjects, they showed that the percentage of correct trials also declined as a function of the hold durationthe shorter the duration became, the worse their accuracy was.

Matsuzawa said the chimps memory ability is reminiscent of eidetic imagery, a special ability to retain a detailed and accurate image of a complex scene or pattern. Such a photographic memory is known to be present in some normal human children, and then the ability declines with the age, he added.

The researchers said they believe that the young chimps newfound ability to top humans in the numerical memory task is just a part of the very flexible intelligence of young chimpanzees.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cathleen Genova
cgenova@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Meth exposure in young adults leads to long-term behavioral consequences
2. Ancient whale fall from Californias Año Nuevo Island one of youngest, most complete known
3. Ancient whale fall from Californias Ao Nuevo Island one of youngest, most complete known
4. Youngstown, Ohio Police Award Mobile Data Contract to BIO-key(R) International
5. Tufts University biologists link Huntingtons disease to health benefits in young
6. Alcohol and sleep restriction can affect young mens alertness and driving performance
7. 18 young scientists join EMBO Young Investigator network
8. Yale chemist receives NIH Young Investigator Award for antibody targeting
9. 2007 Albert Maucher Prize for Outstanding Young Geoscientists
10. Eat chocolate, drink wine, add fun to life: SLU geriatrician shares secrets of staying young
11. New book defines promising young field of adult neurogenesis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/9/2016)... , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... when it comes to expanding freedom for high net ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there is ... conferencing system could ever duplicate sealing your deal with ... obtaining second passports by taking advantage of citizenship via ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... a partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The ... enhanced security to access and transact across channels. ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... ,The global gait biometrics market is expected to ... period 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple ... used to compute factors that are not or ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. ... years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital ... Sports Association to serve as their official health ... Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic training ... association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist quality ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome ... in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The ... to advance its drug development efforts, as well as ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner to ... traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
Breaking Biology Technology: