Monday, May 02, 2011

Monkeys Show Signs Of Advanced Memory Powers




Monkey see, monkey recall – at least for a couple minutes.

Ben Basile of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, placed five rhesus monkeys in front of a touchscreen that briefly showed a blue square and two red ones. After an interval of up to 2 minutes, the blue square reappeared in a different place, and the monkeys had to replicate the pattern in its new position by tapping the screen to place red squares.

Their success rate was significantly better than chance, showing for the first time that they are able to recall things from memory. This is more advanced than recognising a familiar object, and could be a precursor to long-term memory.

The study could help resolve a long-standing question, says Howard Eichenbaum of Boston University in Massachusetts. "There is a big controversy over whether recollection and familiarity are [run by] different processes, or just reflect the strength of the memory," he says.


Full story here.
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