This Chimp Is Smarter Than You

By Sam Gibbs on at

You think you’re the king of the jungle, but think again. When it comes to memory tasks, this 11-year-old chimp that was born and raised in the Primate Research Institute of Japan’s Kyoto University, has you beat; you wouldn’t even stand a chance.

Chimps apparently have a greater capacity for working memory – the memory that allows you to temporarily store stuff as you go about your day a bit like the RAM in your computer. The theory is that as we humans evolved the capacity for speech, other things were sacrificed like this.

As you can see in the video, Ayumu the chimp kicks arse at a memory game – he’s given just a fraction of a second to remember the position and order of the numbers on the board before they're obscured. He then taps them out in order without even blinking.

It’s quite impressive really, but it makes me wonder what other awesome capabilities we ditched in favour of language – they say an elephant never forgets; perhaps it’s because it can’t talk. I’m still after telekinesis. Imagine what you could do if you could just move things with your mind. You’d never have to get off the couch again.

Read more about why Ayumu can do his thing over at iO9. [YouTube via iO9]