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Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 599–600 | Cite as

Do young chimpanzees have extraordinary working memory?

  • Peter Cook
  • Margaret Wilson
Notes and Comment

Abstract

Do chimpanzees have better spatial working memory than humans? In a previous report, a juvenile chimpanzee outperformed 3 university students on memory for briefly displayed digits in a spatial array (Inoue & Matsuzawa, 2007). The authors described these abilities as extraordinary and likened the chimpanzee's performance to eidetic memory. However, the chimpanzee received extensive practice on a non-time-pressured version of the task; the human subjects received none. Here we report that, after adequate practice, 2 university students substantially outperformed the chimpanzee. There is no evidence for a superior or qualitatively different spatial memory system in chimpanzees.

Keywords

Stimulus Duration Test Block Practice Block Pattern Mask Iconic Memory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

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  3. Inoue, S., & Matsuzawa, T. (2007). Working memory of numerals in chimpanzees. Current Biology, 17, R1004-R1005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Silberberg, A., & Kearns, D. (2009). Memory for the order of briefly presented numerals in humans as a function of practice. Animal Cognition, 12, 405–407.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cognitive PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta Cruz

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