Chimpanzee Ai | Chimp Shows off his Visual Processing Speed

Born 14 years ago in Japan, this is Ayumu the Chimp. Currently living at the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University, Ayumu is a second generation research subject, taking part in what’s known as the Ai Project.

Freedawn Scientia - This chimp's visual processing speed is nuts Sure, we humans are super-smart with our lovely, big brains, but imagine having a photographic memory like this little chimp.

The Ai Project, which aims to advance our understanding of chimpanzee cognition, was named after Ayumu’s mother Ai – a 38-year-old chimp who’s also living at the university. It was first launched by primatologist Tetsuro Matsuzawa in 1978, when Ai was just two years old, and it’s now one of the longest running laboratory research projects on chimpanzee intelligence.



Right now, the project includes 14 chimpanzees, and the research focuses on language skills, numerical competency, visual processing abilities, and memory retention.

Amuyu has been involved in the Ai Project since birth, and is seen above performing a simple short-term memory task, where he has to remember the sequential order of numbers and find them as quickly as possible on a touch-sensitive computer screen. When he was just five years old, Amuyu surprised everyone when was pitted against university students in a similar test and proved faster at it than any of them.

“When the numbers were displayed for about seven-tenths of a second, Ayumu and the college students were both able to do this correctly about 80 percent of the time,” CBS News reported at the time. “But when the numbers were displayed for just four-tenths or two-tenths of a second, the chimp was the champ. The briefer of those times is too short to allow a look around the screen, and in those tests Ayumu still scored about 80 percent, while humans plunged to 40 percent.”

Freedawn Scientia - This chimp's visual processing speed is nuts Sure, we humans are super-smart with our lovely, big brains, but imagine having a photographic memory like this little chimp. Chimpanzee Ai, Very clever money

Born 14 years ago in Japan, this is Ayumu the Chimp. Currently living at the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University, Ayumu is a second generation research subject, taking part in what’s known as the Ai Project.

The Ai Project, which aims to advance our understanding of chimpanzee cognition, was named after Ayumu’s mother Ai – a 38-year-old chimp who’s also living at the university. It was first launched by primatologist Tetsuro Matsuzawa in 1978, when Ai was just two years old, and it’s now one of the longest running laboratory research projects on chimpanzee intelligence.

Right now, the project includes 14 chimpanzees, and the research focuses on language skills, numerical competency, visual processing abilities, and memory retention.

Amuyu has been involved in the Ai Project since birth, and is seen above performing a simple short-term memory task, where he has to remember the sequential order of numbers and find them as quickly as possible on a touch-sensitive computer screen. When he was just five years old, Amuyu surprised everyone when was pitted against university students in a similar test and proved faster at it than any of them.

Freedawn Scientia - This chimp's visual processing speed is nuts Sure, we humans are super-smart with our lovely, big brains, but imagine having a photographic memory like this little chimp. Chimpanzee Ai, Very clever money



“When the numbers were displayed for about seven-tenths of a second, Ayumu and the college students were both able to do this correctly about 80 percent of the time,” CBS News reported at the time. “But when the numbers were displayed for just four-tenths or two-tenths of a second, the chimp was the champ. The briefer of those times is too short to allow a look around the screen, and in those tests Ayumu still scored about 80 percent, while humans plunged to 40 percent.”

Even Matsuzawa was amazed by what little Amuyu could do, and told CBS News that perhaps humans gave up this kind of hyper-speed visual processing power in order to evolve better language skills. And perhaps Amuyu’s young age actually helped – the memory skills needed for this kind of test are often strong in children, but they weaken with age. And it shows – his mother Ai did even worse than the college students.



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