Researchers: Chimps may have the ability to understand language too - humans just get more practice
2011-11-30 0:00

By Rob Waugh |

What separates man from the apes?

Scientists have always thought that one of the basic differences between us and our closest evolutionary cousins, chimpanzees, has been the ability to perceive and process speech.

But that might not be the case.

Scientists now suspect that a ’common ancestor’ of chimps and humans evolved with the capacity for speech - and the human ability to perceive and process it might be more to do with being exposed to language when we are very young than any innate ability.

What separates us from the apes, speech-wise, might just be practice.
Lisa Heimbauer, a researcher at Georgia State University’s Language Research Centre, said: ’I think our results just reinforce the fact that experience matters.

’Humans maybe do not perceive speech because they are human, but instead because of the tremendous amount of experience they have with it from birth.’

Previously, the human brain has been thought to be uniquely evolved to perceive what is and isn’t speech.

New research with a 25-year-old chimp, Panzee, has shown that Panzee can ’interpret’ highly distorted speech sounds - in a way similar to humans.
Chimps share 99 per cent of their DNA with humans - and recent research said that only ’junk DNA’ separates us from our cousins.

The research - using human speech patterns distorted to near-unrecognisable fashion - could lead to a new understanding of how children learn to understand language.

Panzee can also interpret symbols, and can understand more than 100 spoken and digitised words - including a symbol for his own name.

Article from:

Related Articles
Face Recognition IDs Chimps from Photos
Chimpanzees mourn their dead children as humans do
Young Female Chimpanzees Treat Sticks as Dolls: Growing Evidence of Biological Basis for Gender-Specific Play in Humans
Bonobo chimps filmed shaking their head to "say no"
Court Claim: Chimps Are People, Too

Latest News from our Front Page

The Daily Shoah has been censored by Soundcloud
2015-11-25 22:56
Editor's note: The PC corporate moral police strike again. Just as Radio 3Fourteen & Red Ice Radio were censored from iTunes, The Daily Shoah was pulled from Soundcloud today. As per usual, there is a double standard, they allow any kind of anti-White material: ... From: Soundcloud took it upon themselves to delete our account this morning. We'll figure something out, but in ...
Merkel Welcomes A Million More: Vows To Stand By Refugee Policy Despite Security Fears
2015-11-25 21:05
Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Wednesday to stick to her open-door refugee policy, defying criticism at home and abroad which has intensified due to growing fears about a potential security risk after the Islamist attacks in Paris. Conservative Merkel faces splits in her right-left coalition and pressure from EU states, including France, over her insistence that Germany can cope with up ...
Paris Terrorist Was Gay 'Rent Boy', On The Run From Islamic State And Police
2015-11-25 20:16
The elusive eighth Paris attacker and one of three brothers implicated in the atrocity reportedly frequented gay clubs before the attack. He may have backed out of his mission at the last minute, and is possibly on the run from Islamic State as well as authorities. “We had him down as a rent boy, he was always hanging out with that ...
Norwegian school brutally kicks out students, reopens as immigration center
2015-11-25 1:46
A failing Norwegian school has brutally kicked out all of the students living there with just a few days notice to find somewhere else to live and study. It has now reopened as a reception center for immigrants. The school, called Waldorf, is in the Røyken municipality of Buskerud County. It had been failing for sometime, and was officially declared bankrupt ...
Why not hear about Islam from a woman who grew up as Muslim in the ME?
2015-11-25 1:52
Youtube description: She says: "I have reached a boiling point with these lies about Islam! Please share it, don't let me waste my breath....go to for a translation of the ISIS website along with other great articles and podcasts!" Source:
More News »