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:3/22/2017)... 21, 2017   Neurotechnology , a provider ... today announced the release of the SentiVeillance ... improved facial recognition using up to 10 surveillance, ... computer. The new version uses deep neural-network-based facial ... it utilizes a Graphing Processing Unit (GPU) for ...
(Date:3/20/2017)... Pa. , March 20, 2017 PMD ... 2.0 personal spirometer and Wellness Management System (WMS), a ... Founded in 2010, PMD Healthcare is a Medical ... with a mission dedicated to creating innovative solutions that ... life. With that intent focus, PMD developed the first ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , March ... Made Simple," and 23andMe , the leading personal ... food choices.  Zipongo can now provide customers with personalized ... health goals and biometrics, but also genetic markers impacting ... Zipongo,s personalized food decision support platform uses ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 27, 2017 , ... PMG ... Trial Collaborations (CTC) conference presented by The Conference Forum in Boston on April ... they collaborate to drive improved clinical trial outcomes and bring them closer to the ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017 Neurotrope, Inc. (OTCQB: ... for neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer,s disease, today announced ... to list the Company,s common stock on the ... NASDAQ Stock Market, a unit of the NASDAQ ... ring the Opening Bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ("Sinovac" or the "Company") ... China , today announced that its board of directors has ... the plan from March 27, 2017 to March 27, 2018. The amendment ... About Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ... Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is a China ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... AxioMed president, Jake Lubinski, ... elastic characteristics when deformed, which is identical to how the human discs work ... forces and return to its natural state along a hysteresis curve, exactly like ...
Breaking Biology Technology: