The Quantum Pontiff

You Versus the Chimp

And they says humans are the smart ones:


  1. #1 mick
    March 1, 2008

    That’s awesome. I wanna see that chimp playing a Wii.

  2. #2 JohnQPublic
    March 1, 2008

    Amazing. (Must be a UCLA graduate.) I wonder how they trained him?

  3. #3 kezdro
    March 1, 2008

    Interesting. I do wonder about practice though – Even during watching one session of the video I was able to significantly increase my speed. Also, if we were to change it to shapes or colors, would humans react faster? They still require visual recognition, but there’s not necessarily anything more connected to it, unlike glyphs, which would instantiate more processing thus slowing down recognition speed.

  4. #4 Kea
    March 2, 2008

    If you read on a bit, you’ll find that the humans were trained for a year before being allowed to compete, and lose, against the young chimps.

  5. #5 chimp
    March 2, 2008

    for human numbers faster disapiering and I sow how chimp cklick on wrong number 3 at the begining

  6. #6 chimp
    March 2, 2008

    I was wrong, number 3 was smallest one. Maybe chimp was trained on the sames examples… If not then chimp reaction is just faster than human, becouse chimp brain is smaller and singnal through sinapses traveling faster… Becouse I also can solve this if I could look at it longer.

  7. #7 Phil Warnell
    March 2, 2008

    I did notice the human challenger was not rewarded with any snacks. Perhaps a little positive incentive would have them fare better:-)

  8. #8 shintz62
    March 2, 2008

    On one occasion, the chimp didn’t even appear to be watching the numerals. Is it possible that he has been trained to know the sequence of numerals based on the pattern on the screen?

  9. #9 JohnQPublic
    March 2, 2008

    According to what I read on it, they also removed various numbers from the sequence to see if the chimp will still do them in order. And he did. So he must have some awareness that 5 comes after 3 even when there’s no 4.

  10. #10 Lizzie
    March 3, 2008

    you can try to beat the chimp here!

  11. #11 Muse142
    March 4, 2008

    That’s pretty spiffy. I’d not be surprised if chimps were much better than the average person at visual recognition, spatial memory, and motor coordination (and speed) – better responses in those skills had more of a purpose (evolutionary advantage) in chimps than in humans.

    Anyone feeling inferior and species-centric can remember that one of the possible reasons that the chimps do so well on this is that they don’t have to waste cognitive resources trying to recognize the numbers. I’d imagine that people might perform better when seeing blocks of colors and touching them in order of the rainbow (ROY G BIV). Plus the chimp is rewarded; the food reward is probably made even more appealing by reducing the chimp’s normal daily feedings, and the task is the only thing that’s breaking the monotony of his day. To humans it’s only a horrible, frustrating, stupid little game that they want no more of after the trial is over. 😉

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