Friday, December 09, 2011

The Chimpanzee Who "Sees" Sounds?

To determine whether humans learn to associate sounds and colours from others, or whether they are innate and do not require language, Ludwig searched for the associations in captive chimpanzees. She and colleagues at Kyoto University in Japan showed six chimps aged 8 to 32 a small black or white box, and then trained them to to select a square of the same colour on a screen to receive a fruit reward. The apes also heard a high or low tone when making their choice. When high tones accompanied white squares and low tones were matched with black, the animals picked the correct colour 93% of the time, on average. When the colours and sounds were reversed, their success rate fell to about 90%. more

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