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Posted by / 18-Mar-2020 09:03

Memory updating in animals

If a chosen box contained food, the chimpanzees received this food reward and the now empty box was then placed back in between the other boxes.After each choice, the boxes were covered with a screen for 15 seconds.Some scientists argue that, compared to other animals, it is particularly developed in humans.

Working memory has been repeatedly invoked as one of the key aspects that separate humans from their closest living relatives.

For example, keeping a new telephone number in mind for a moment is much harder for us when we are in a conversation at the same time.

Likewise, if the chimpanzees had to perform a second, similar task in parallel, their performance declined.

It’s this memory updating requirement that makes this task different from short-term memory tasks.

Depending on the chimpanzees’ ability to avoid revisiting a box they had already chosen, we increased the difficulty of the task by increasing the number of boxes.

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But our study provides evidence that chimpanzees possess similar working memory abilities to humans.