Summarily Flogged by a Chimp

From Lumosity Brain Games:

Are you as smart as a chimp?

Ayumu is a 7-year-old chimpanzee... Can you beat Ayumu in this memory test?

Inoue and Matsuzawa from Kyoto University used the 'limited-hold memory task' to show that their chimps can out-perform college students. Watch Ayumu, then take the test... to see if your memory is as good as a chimp's!

The chimp handed me my ass in this test.

i-5e48c469969e4aff55358266ed981dac-Ayumu

Tags

More like this

Researchers from Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute report that a young chimp can out-perform university students on a working memory task. (Cognitive psychologists use the term working memory to refer to the temporary storage and manipulation of information.) The researchers developed…
This article is reposted from the old Wordpress incarnation of Not Exactly Rocket Science. We humans aren't used to having our intelligence challenged. Among the animal kingdom, we hold no records for speed, strength or size but our vaunted mental abilities are unparalleled. But research from…
In 1948, Alan Turing wrote: "An unwillingness to admit the possibility that mankind can have any rivals in intellectual power occurs as much amongst intellectual people as amongst others: they have more to lose." Accordingly, comprehensive comparisons between the intellectual powers of great apes…
Great Apes Think Ahead: Conclusive Evidence Of Advanced Planning Capacities: Apes can plan for their future needs just as we humans can - by using self-control and imagining future events. Mathias and Helena Osvath's research, from Lunds University Cognitive Science in Sweden, is the first to…

I beat the chimp!

I also managed to beat the chimp, on the fifth try. I find it strange that they let three students practice for 6 months, and still they didn't exceed 80%. Maybe they weren't motivated enough - as in $X is to a student what apple sauce is to a chimp, where $X is more than the researchers can afford... or maybe they weren't paid proportionally to their performance, as Mayumu was. If this were an olympic sport then I think we would see close to 100% human performance.

Though we tried to make this game resemble the original test as closely as possible (210ms presentation, random placement on 5x8 grid, etc), an important difference is the size of the screen. The presentation to the college students occupied a larger swath of the visual field, which would make the task more difficult - perhaps in a way that favors chimps.

I appreciate your point, Michael Scanlon, but the fact is that the chimps are in fact kicking human ass. That there are exceptions is routine.

I cannot help but see your argument, re the size of the screen, as a bit disingenuous. Now, I could be wrong, but I would wager that the ability of chimps, as demonstrated to a reasonable degree by these tests, is directly translatable in terms of survival. If not, it is probably translatable in terms of engaging the primate mind in the minutiae of the physical world. This secondary engagement certainly has survival value, if one thinks about it for a moment.

By Crudely Wrott (not verified) on 31 Jan 2008 #permalink