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Monkeys smarter than Humans? (not really but they have very good memory)

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02/16/2013 05:38 AM
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Monkeys smarter than Humans? (not really but they have very good memory)
Imagine you are looking at a computer screen where the numbers 1-9 randomly spread out. Before you barely wrap with his eyes across the screen disappears figures. Would you remember their placements? Probably not. However, chimpanzees can.

- Chimpanzees can be much better than us at this type of data.

It said researcher Tetsuro Matsuzawa of Kyoto University in Japan, who spent many years studying chimpanzee cognitive abilities.

The AAAS annual meeting held this year in Boston, he told me about his recent studies have shown that chimpanzees can handle even more difficult tasks than previously thought.

Chimpanzees who got to watch the numbers thrown pell-mell on a screen could easily point them in ascending order. Just what has impressed scientists, but it did not stop there. Although chimps just saw the figures for hundredths of a second before they were masked, they could point to the numbers in the correct order, probably due to a kind of photographic memory.

SEE THE TEST monkey can do it we thought was impossible

This is the results previously published in scientific journals. New this time around is that the chimpanzees were able to point out even more numbers than before, from 1 to 19.

- Chimpanzees can be very good at memorizing things. They are here and now, while we humans are constantly trying to find a meaning to what we see so that we can talk about our experiences for others, said Tetsuro Matsuzawa.

So far, researchers do not know where the limit for how many digits chimps can memorize yesterday. Nor are they sure what it might be for the benefit of this type of capability for the animals, or why people seem to have lost it during evolution.

Matsuzawas guess is that it's simply been more important for human development to be able to interpret what we see, rather than memorizing details, and that chimps have benefited from a good short-term memory when they do things like climbing trees, searching for food and avoiding enemies.

It is clear, however, according to the researchers that chimps are not a "weaker version of the man," but just different.

- We have been forced to abandon the idea of the human brain as the most complex, says Neal D. Barnard from George Washington University School of Medicine.

Victoria Wobber at Harvard University, who studies chimpanzees in African animal sanctuary, told of other studies including demonstrated that chimpanzees prefer cooked food above raw, like most people, and that they are able to recruit other chimpanzees - often more competent than themselves - to handle certain tasks better.

Experiments have also shown that chimpanzees have the patience to wait several minutes if it means a bigger reward than they can get with it. They were even willing to wait longer than some people who had to do the test.

Something else that researchers observed that chimpanzees, like humans can suffer from mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress.

It may include chimpanzees early separated from her mother, or who have been exposed to particularly harsh or long-term experiments.

Martin Brune, of the University Hospital Essen, has conducted studies in which chimpanzees successfully treated with antidepressants for people.

His opinion is that the medication could be helpful for chimpanzees with these types of mental disorders.

- I think at least part of the diagnostic criteria for humans could also be used on monkeys, because the similarities in terms of causation and symptomatology between species is greater than the differences, he notes.

But as the knowledge of chimpanzees increases, the question whether it is ethical to use animals for example pharmaceutical research.

In Europe, it is now prohibited, inter alia, for the reason that chimpanzees can develop serious psychological problems in this type of captivity.

In the U.S. now discussed similar measures.

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