Monkeys Match Humans in Arithmetic Tests

MonkeysMonkeys performed about as well as college students at mental addition in a study American researchers say suggests non-verbal mathematics skills are not unique to humans.

The research by Duke University follows the finding by Japanese researchers this month that young chimpanzees performed better than human adults at a memory game.

"It shows when you take language away from a human, they end up looking just like monkeys in terms of their performance," Ms Cantlon said.

Her study pitted the ape maths team of Boxer and Feinstein — two female monkeys named after US senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein — with 14 Duke students.

The task was to add two sets of dots that were briefly flashed on a computer screen. The humans were not allowed to count or verbalise as they worked. Monkeys and humans typically answered in a second, and both groups fared about the same.

Source: The Age
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