Reading baboons leave scientists spellbound, may shed light on human learning
From: VancouverSun.com / AFP
Baboons can recognize scores of written words, a feat that raises intriguing questions about how we learn to read, scientists reported on Thursday.
In a specially-made facility in France where they could come and go at will, monkeys learned to differentiate between a real word, such as KITE, and a nonsense word such as ZEVS.
The baboons had access to a large enclosure with several touch-sensitive computer screens, each projecting a four-letter word.
A picture released on April 12, 2012 shows a baboon looking at a computer screen housed in a booth in Marseille. The animals freely enter the booths and complete multiple rounds of the computer-based exercise, in which they see a four-letter sequence appear and then tap one of two shapes on the screen to classify the sequence as a word or a non-word.
Photograph by: J. Fagot , AFP/Getty Images
The animals had to tap one of two shapes on the screen to show that they understood whether the word was a real one or garble.
Choosing the real word got them a tempting reward of food - a pellet of dry wheat that came from an automatic dispenser.
The six baboons used the computers up to 3,000 times a day, notching up an average total of 50,000 "trials" over a month and a half.
They learned to distinguish scores of words, identifying them with an accuracy of 75 per cent, according to the study led by Jonathan Grainger at the Cognitive Research Laboratory at France’s Aix-Marseille University.
There were 500 real words and 7,832 nonsense ones in the data bank.
"This ... is a remarkable result, given the level of orthographic similarity between the word and nonword," according to the paper, published by the U.S. journal Science.
"More detailed analysis revealed that baboons were not simply memorising the word ... but had learned to discriminate words from non-words on the basis of differences in the frequency of letter combinations."
The champion speller was a baboon called Dan, who learned 308 words, around three times as many as his chums.
Read the full article at: vancouversun.com
Video from: YouTube.com
Video from: YouTube.com
Iran Space monkey launch failed
Scientists Discover Mother Monkeys Who Kill Their Babies
The Matrix of Culture and Habit - 5 Monkey Syndrome (video)
Cognitive Dissonance in Monkeys - The Monty Hall Problem
Taiwan Produces Pixar-Like Video of Taliban Jihad Monkeys (Video)
Ebola Cured in Monkeys—Hope for Humans?
Monkeys Ponder What Could Have Been
Counting monkeys tick off yet another ’human’ ability
Latest News from our Front Page
41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech"
1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation
Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person?
2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
FBI agents canâ€™t point to any major terrorism cases theyâ€™ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Departmentâ€™s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.
Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senateâ€™s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations.
A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
Circumcision battle: Mom seeks release from jail after federal lawsuit is dismissed
West Boynton mother on Wednesday gave up trying to get a federal judge to stop her 4 1/2-year-old son from being circumcised as his father wishes â€” a battle that also led to her arrest May 14 on a state court warrant.
An attorney for Heather Hironimus, who lost similar legal challenges in two state courts, notified U.S. District Judge Kenneth ...
|More News » |