Chimpanzees, Orangutans Remember Distant Past Events, Study Finds

Friday, 19 Jul 2013 02:03 PM

By Michael Mullins

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Chimpanzees and orangutans remember distant, past events if prompted with sensory reminders, a new study published in Current Biology finds. Recalling memories was previously thought to be unique to humans.

Three years ago, the animals had to perform a task four times. Both species were given two boxes in different rooms, one containing useful tools, and the other containing useless ones. To receive an award, the primates had to retrieve the useful tools from where they were hidden.

Editor's Note: Don't Miss These Free Government Giveaways

The majority of the group — 90 percent — successfully located where the useful tools had been placed since they last saw them without watching where the researchers planted them, the BBC reported.

The apes’ memory was triggered by cues that were kept the same in previous experiment, according to the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Gema Martin-Ordas of Denmark’s Aarhus University.

"Our data, and other emerging evidence, keep challenging the idea of nonhuman animals being stuck in time," Martin-Ordas told the BBC.

"We show not only that chimpanzees and orangutans remember events that happened two weeks or three years ago, but also that they can remember them even when they are not expecting to have to recall those events at a later time, " Martin-Ordas added.

In a separate experiment, the primates were also able to remember a unique event that occurred two weeks prior.

Martin-Ordas concluded through the study that "the episodic memory system in humans is not as unique as we thought it was, as we share features with nonhuman primates."

Michael Corballis, a leading psychological science professor from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, who was not involved with the study, pointed out that while the apes are able to recall the what and where of a past event, they are missing the "when" component, according to the BBC.

"There is no indication that the animals remembered when the earlier event occurred," Corballis said. "This is not to say the animals had no inkling of this, and in any case we humans are often hazy about the locations of events in time."

Corballis guessed that "great apes, and perhaps even rats, have episodic memories similar to our own, probably less rich and detailed, but similar in essence."

Editor's Note: Get the Navy SEALs Cap – Celebrate Our Heroes

Related stories:

Chimpanzees Headed for Retirement as U.S. Cuts Medical Research

Research Shows Baboons Can Learn to Spot Words

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Cambodia HIV Outbreak: 100-Plus People Diagnosed; Investigation Sought

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:50 PM

More than 100 HIV infections in a single Cambodian village have spurred the country's prime minister to ask for an inves . . .

Slender Man Case: Two Girls Competent to Stand Trial in Stabbing

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:26 PM

Two girls who allegedly stabbed a 12-year-old friend over the online game Slender Man are competent to stand trial for a . . .

Kate Upton Sexiest Woman Alive; Model Apologizes to Teen Brother

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:52 PM

Model Kate Upton was selected as People magazine's first Sexiest Woman Alive, a month after Chris Hemsworth received the . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved