Saturday, June 7, 2014

Must View: Chimpanzee Beats Humans at Memory Task

HuffPo discuses:
In the first experiment, conducted at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute in Japan, six chimps and 16 students faced off against their same-species opponents. In the second, conducted in Bossou, Guinea, 12 men played against each other in a version of the game that substituted bottle caps instead of icons.

What happened? The chimps outperformed their human counterparts across the board, Bhui told HuffPost Science. They played so well, in fact, that they bumped up against the theoretical success limit identified by Nobel Prize-winning game theorist John F. Nash, Jr., who was the inspiration for the Academy Award-winning motion picture "A Beautiful Mind."

Scary, huh?

Bhui said there were a few possible explanations for the chimps' winning ways. In addition to their memory advantage, chimps are known to be more competitive with one another than humans are with each other.

"Competitive situations are central to chimp life," Bhui said.

"While young chimpanzees hone their competitive skills with constant practice, playing hide-and-seek and wrestling, their human counterparts shift at a young age from competition to cooperation using our special skill at language," study co-author Dr. Colin Camerer, a professor of behavior finance and economics at Caltech, said in the statement.

1 comment:

  1. Is it really surprising that chimps have a superior short term spatial memory given their environment and what they have to be good at to survive vs the environment of humans and our survival methods over the past 10K years?