aedating 4 1 - Memory updating in animals

To complete a task like this, people usually search in line from one side to the other or they search the boxes always in the same order.Search strategies like these reduce the memory demand because we only need to remember our last choice.The chimpanzees first watched how pieces of food were hidden in all of these boxes.

memory updating in animals-90

But our study provides evidence that chimpanzees possess similar working memory abilities to humans.

They’re able to perform at a level comparable to seven-year-old children in a working memory task that requires them to constantly update their memory.

It’s this memory updating requirement that makes this task different from short-term memory tasks.

Depending on the chimpanzees’ ability to avoid revisiting a box they had already chosen, we increased the difficulty of the task by increasing the number of boxes.

It’s an attention demanding process and so if we get distracted, we often forget what we kept in mind just a moment ago.

Only information held in working memory can be stored in long-term memory, where it can be held indefinitely.Some scientists argue that, compared to other animals, it is particularly developed in humans.But how do chimpanzees, one of our closest relatives, compare?Along with other researchers from the University of St Andrews, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, I set out to answer this question.Previous studies showed that chimpanzees have excellent short-term and long-term memory abilities.These different stages of human memory act like a filter, helping us to store information without being flooded.

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