Reading baboons leave scientists spellbound, may shed light on human learning
2012 04 13

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





Related Articles
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

Group Polarization and the Fad of Ethno-masochism
2014 11 26
From "Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 6 50 (6): 1141--1151 The psychology of White self hatred. Political correctness IS a mental disorder. More: Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis. Isenberg, Daniel J. the paper Indoctrinate U Harvard Professor Noel Ignatiev talks about how to end the White race The History of Political Correctness The Narrative: The origins of Political ...
Credo: A Nietzschean Testament by Jonathan Bowden
2014 11 26
This lecture by Jonathan Bowden was given at the 11th New Right meeting in London on September 8, 2007. The original title of the presentation was “The Art and Philosophy of Jonathan Bowden.” I think ideas are inborn, and you’re attracted, if you have any, toward certain systems of thinking and sensibility and response. From a very young age, I was ...
A Look Back at the OJ Simpson Verdict -- Reactions
2014 11 26
This is a look back at the different reactions to the OJ Simpson verdict some 20 years ago (exact date of verdict was Oct 3, 1995). The OJ Simpson jury consisted of 9 Blacks, 1 Hispanic, and 2 Whites. It would raise eyebrows after they only deliberated for 4 hours in a case that they were involved in for almost ...
New York Times Publishes Darren Wilson’s Street Address and Photo of House #Ferguson
2014 11 26
Hey here are the two @nytimes scumbags that published Wilson’s home address. —> @juliebosman & @campbellnyt— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) November 25, 2014 Michael Brown’s Stepdad Shouting ‘Burn This Bitch Down’ The New York Times published information about the address of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on Monday in a move that has generated controversy. Tensions are running high in Ferguson, Missouri, as ...
How Monsanto is Destroying the Brains and Health of Everyone
2014 11 25
Interested in slowing your aging process? Take note! One of my most recent blog entries summarized roughly 10 years of research related to the consequences of inflammatory processes in the periphery of the body, such as the gut, and how this was driving brain degenerative inflammatory processes within the brain. One of the key findings from that research was how pathogenic ...
More News »