Chimp Beats College Students in test


Grumpy mod
Jul 29, 2003
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College students

Young Chimp Beats College Students
Think You're Smarter Than a 5th-Grader? 5-Year-Old Chimp Beats College Kids in Computer Game
The Associated Press


Think you're smarter than a fifth-grader? How about a 5-year-old chimp? Japanese researchers pitted young chimps against human adults in tests of short-term memory, and overall, the chimps won.

That challenges the belief of many people, including many scientists, that "humans are superior to chimpanzees in all cognitive functions," said researcher Tetsuro Matsuzawa of Kyoto University.

"No one can imagine that chimpanzees young chimpanzees at the age of 5 have a better performance in a memory task than humans," he said in a statement.

Matsuzawa, a pioneer in studying the mental abilities of chimps, said even he was surprised. He and colleague Sana Inoue report the results in Tuesday's issue of the journal Current Biology.

One memory test included three 5-year-old chimps who'd been taught the order of Arabic numerals 1 through 9, and a dozen human volunteers.

They saw nine numbers displayed on a computer screen. When they touched the first number, the other eight turned into white squares. The test was to touch all these squares in the order of the numbers that used to be there.

Results showed that the chimps, while no more accurate than the people, could do this faster.

One chimp, Ayumu, did the best. Researchers included him and nine college students in a second test.

This time, five numbers flashed on the screen only briefly before they were replaced by white squares. The challenge, again, was to touch these squares in the proper sequence.

When the numbers were displayed for about seven-tenths of a second, Ayumu and the college students were both able to do this correctly about 80 percent of the time.

But when the numbers were displayed for just four-tenths or two-tenths of a second, the chimp was the champ. The briefer of those times is too short to allow a look around the screen, and in those tests Ayumu still scored about 80 percent, while humans plunged to 40 percent.

That indicates Ayumu was better at taking in the whole pattern of numbers at a glance, the researchers wrote.

"It's amazing what this chimpanzee is able to do," said Elizabeth Lonsdorf, director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The center studies the mental abilities of apes, but Lonsdorf didn't participate in the new study.

She admired Ayumu's performance when the numbers flashed only briefly on the screen.

"I just watched the video of that and I can tell you right now, there's no way I can do it," she said. "It's unbelievable. I can't even get the first two (squares)."

What's going on here? Even with six months of training, three students failed to catch up to the three young chimps, Matsuzawa said in an e-mail.

He thinks two factors gave his chimps the edge. For one thing, he believes human ancestors gave up much of this skill over evolutionary time to make room in the brain for gaining language abilities.

The other factor is the youth of Ayumu and his peers. The memory for images that's needed for the tests resembles a skill found in children, but which dissipates with age. In fact, the young chimps performed better than older chimps in the new study. (Ayumu's mom did even worse than the college students).

So the next logical step, Lonsdorf said, is to fix up Ayumu with some real competition on these tests: little kids.
I'm going to start an Electro-Clash band called " Chimp Beats"
we'll be big in the college scene.
Ayumu For President.

and they never mention that fact that human adults treat their brains a lot worse than 5 year old chimpanzees.
This isn't really a huge surprise. We try everything humanly possible to kill as many brain cells as we can. It is pathetic.
Ahem... as I was going to post in the other thread before I was alerted to the fact that it was closed:

As someone who loves animals and daily treats them as well as I do humans, I call BS on this one.

The sample of humans was likely not as random as the sample of chimps, and there are other small issues with it as well. Firstly, University students usually have a whole lot of stuff on their plates, what with all their classes, thus raising the level of possible distractions. Second, the chimps were likely born in a lab, 'tainting' their natural intelligence with outside information. Then you can take into account the fact that younger people have better memories than older people, if you want to start considering chimps (and other animals) on the same level as humans mentally, you'll need to account for that as well.
Isn't your brain more hardwired by the time your in college, which is why its harder for older people to learn new languages? They should have tested it against 5 year old humans and checked the results.
awseme!! king-kong for president yo!

EDIT: oh and plus
+ 5!
This does not mean chimps are smarter than humans. Whoever wrote the article is ******ed.

It's just memorization skills. Even dogs can do it.

And so can dolphins.
I'm a college student and we all foresee Kong winning the presidential election.

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