Monday, December 24, 2007

Monkey math

Not good at math? Monkeys might actually do it better: a new study shows that monkeys can perform mental addition in a manner remarkably similar to college students.

Monkeys and college students took the same test - one that showed possible totals for the number of dots on a computer screen. The average response time for both monkeys and humans was about one second; the college students were correct 94 percent of the time and the monkeys 76 percent.

The findings point to ancient origins of math in humanity and our distant relatives. The researchers did say that monkeys will not pass college math tests anytime soon, although 76 percent probably will do it for most math classes.

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