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Spurious George

Chimps Gain Smarts From Hanging With Humans

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Chimps gain smarts from hanging with humans

Study shows those raised by humans more likely to learn how to use tools

Studies have shown that chimps have culture, cooperate intelligently, and may also be altruistic. Now scientists learn that those enculturated by humans have greater capacity for learning.

A bit of human nature can apparently rub off on chimpanzees. Chimps nurtured by humans since birth have a far better chance of figuring out how to use new tools, a new study shows.

The findings highlight untapped potential within chimpanzees that can get uncovered "by studying them when they have been raised under very comparable conditions as our own children," said Ohio State University cognitive primatologist Sally Boysen.

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The rake test

Boysen and her colleagues compared three groups of chimps. The first group of nine, dubbed "enculturated," had a long history of socializing with humans. The next group of six dwelt in a chimpanzee sanctuary, with only caretakers as their contact with humans. The last group of seven was raised in more austere lab conditions.

The scientists next showed chimpanzees how they could use small rakes to retrieve a fruit yogurt reward. The rakes either had a rigid plywood head or a flimsy cloth head. The enculturated and sanctuary chimps all correctly picked the rigid rake to help them get the reward, save one enculturated juvenile male, Keeli, who preferred destroying the flimsy rake to getting the reward.(LOL)

Full article - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19312192/

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LOL.. that one ape that picked up the flimsy rake would probably be me. :lol:

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Keeli, the rake destroyer, probably learned that one from humans too... not the scientists however... but the janitor with anger management issues that cleans the lab at night.

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