(ORDO NEWS) — A recent study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE has shed light on the unique ability that humans have – the ability to learn and remember order. This ability, critical to various aspects of our daily lives, including communication, planning and education, sets us apart from our closest relatives such as bonobos.
The study, conducted by scientists at Stockholm University, was aimed at testing the hypothesis that only humans have the ability to recognize and remember sequential information. Previous research has suggested that this ability is a fundamental building block underlying our unique cultural capabilities. However, this hypothesis has not been tested in apes, our closest relatives.
“This study is another piece of the puzzle into how intelligence differs between humans and other animals, and why only humans speak tongues, plan space flights, and have become so efficient at exploiting the Earth that they now pose a serious threat to countless other forms.” life.” – Johan Lind, Associate Professor of Ethology and Deputy Director of the Center for Cultural Evolution at Stockholm University.
To further explore this issue, the researchers conducted a series of experiments involving bonobos and humans. Subjects were asked to tap a computer screen to learn and discriminate short sequences, such as whether a yellow square appeared before or after a blue one.
The results of the study were amazing. While humans quickly learned to distinguish the sequences, bonobos did so with great difficulty. They often forgot that they had seen a particular stimulus several seconds after it disappeared from the screen. Even after thousands of trials, they had great difficulty remembering the order of the stimuli.
“The study shows that bonobos have a limited ability to remember and use sequential information. They have difficulty distinguishing between different sequences, even with long-term training,” explains Vera Vincken, a researcher at Stockholm University.
This study adds another piece to the puzzle of understanding the differences between human and animal intelligence. It explains why only humans developed complex languages, flew into space, and became highly efficient exploiters of the Earth’s resources, often to the detriment of other species.”
Johan Lind, associate professor of ethology and deputy director of the Center for Cultural Evolution at Stockholm University, highlights the significance of this study. He says: “The ability to recognize and remember order is a key factor in the development of human culture. By studying our closest relatives, we gain valuable insights into the origins of our unique cognitive abilities.”
In their book, The Human Evolutionary Transition: From Animal Intelligence to Culture, the researchers propose a new theory of how humans became cultural beings. They argue that the ability to recognize and remember sequential information played a critical role in this transition.
While this study provides valuable insights, there is still much to learn about how our closest relatives, such as bonobos, remember and use sequential information. Further research is needed to fully understand the cognitive differences between humans and other animals.
“The ability to recognize and remember order is a key factor in the development of human culture. By studying our closest relatives, we gain valuable insights into the origins of our unique cognitive abilities.” – Johan Lind, Associate Professor of Ethology and Deputy Director of the Center for Cultural Evolution at Stockholm University.
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