Monday, December 3, 2007

News flash!

Updated: more links, embedded video.

Apparently, hormone fluctuations may be responsible for many mood disturbances in women! And, in other news, oceans contain water! Mountains are made of rock! Species evolve over time! I haven't actually read the articles this press release is based on (not my field), but I'm assuming they had more interesting findings. Hopefully...

More seriously, a new study in Current Biology has found that young chimpanzees have a better numerical working memory than adult humans beings. The abstract:
Chimpanzee memory has been extensively studied. The general assumption is that, as with many other cognitive functions, it is inferior to that of humans; some data, however, suggest that, in some circumstances, chimpanzee memory may indeed be superior to human memory. Here we report that young chimpanzees have an extraordinary working memory capability for numerical recollection — better even than that of human adults tested in the same apparatus following the same procedure.
New Scientist magazine has a great little video on the study, it's embedded below (or click here to go directly to the video at YouTube):

(See also the ScienceDaily press release, the Nature News writeup, the New Scientist article and Kyoto University's extensive collection of videos from the study).

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