Monkey Brains

Written by Andrea Campbell


Youíre a primate, Iím a primate, monkeys are primates!

Even beforerepparttar release of my book Bringing Up Ziggy, I was studying all aspects of primates. And Iím not alone. By observingrepparttar 127720 other levels of primate order in behavior and learning, we often discover many similarities between ourselves and our closest biological species.

Psychological researchers at Columbia University conducted tests showing that rhesus monkeys can decipherrepparttar 127721 difference between one, two and three. Now, Elizabeth M. Brannon, Ph.D. and Herbert S. Terrace, Ph.D., both psychologists at Columbia, designed experiments to discern whether monkeys could learn rules for putting objects into categories, and then apply those rules to a new set of objects.

Not so surprising to me,repparttar 127722 scientists found that animals can not only be taught to count but actually understandrepparttar 127723 concept of numbers. The results of this new research was published inrepparttar 127724 January issue ofrepparttar 127725 Journal of Experimental Psychology.

For this particular study, researchers created computer displays with numbers one, two, three and four using visual objects such as circles, ellipses, squares or diamonds of varying size and color. Three monkeys were then taught to touch each display in numerical order, for example, using a two in ascending order, one in descending order.

Overtime,repparttar 127726 monkeys were trained on some 35 different displays. Assessing their continued progress,repparttar 127727 researchers then testedrepparttar 127728 monkeys on 150 new displays, only to find their performance did not falter.

In order to check their efforts,repparttar 127729 scientists needed to determine whetherrepparttar 127730 monkeys actually understoodrepparttar 127731 relationship betweenrepparttar 127732 numbers. This time,repparttar 127733 monkeys were tested using pairs of numbers they had never seen before--five, six, seven, eight and nine.

The results are quite illuminating as one who knows primates would think they should be. Inrepparttar 127734 first round of testing withrepparttar 127735 higher numbers, both monkeys who had been trained to respond in ascending numerical order arrangedrepparttar 127736 new numbers correctly 75 per cent ofrepparttar 127737 time.

Art From an Unlikely Artist

Written by Andrea Campbell


Art From an Unlikely Artist

Amanda makes good money for her art, hundreds of dollars on some pieces. Her particular style is strictly abstract and she exhibits some unorthodox mannerisms, but her work garnersrepparttar attention of many. Sometimesrepparttar 127719 artist sleeps late and only paints once a week. Ifrepparttar 127720 inspiration strikes and she does not have her supplies though, she shows her frustration by spitting and acting out! Well, what would you expect from a 100-pound orangutan? Typically, her studio is littered with banana peels and other stuff lying around rotting, but she like to climbs up, up, up into a cargo net to greet visitors. Amanda lives atrepparttar 127721 Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her Como Zoo keeper, Mike Thell, says thatrepparttar 127722 Sumatran/Bornean orangutan started painting in June as part ofrepparttar 127723 zooís enrichment program. Animals in this zoo and others acrossrepparttar 127724 country, experience different incentive enhancements as well: there arerepparttar 127725 gorillas who have to maneuver their treats out of plastic bottles, a polar bear who has to scratch his way through a block of ice to get his fish, and lions who get to roll around in their favorite herbs and spices. Animal behavior experts have discovered that by supplying work for animals, whether that means foraging for food, navigating their terrain, or simply doing unlikely projects like Amanda,repparttar 127726 animals fare better and exhibit a "psychological well being."

The intelligent, antsy Amanda just kind of took to painting after only a few demonstrations about what to do withrepparttar 127727 brush and paints fromrepparttar 127728 less-talented humans around her. Because she thrives as a result of her painting, every so often bottles of nontoxic poster paint and thick sheets of paper are pushed up to her chain-link fence. Part of Amandaís technique is to dip a fat paint brush into bright, primary colors and, after each thoughtful stroke on paper, she will cleanserepparttar 127729 brush in her mouth! Blue is a favorite hue. Several minutes of inspired painting take place and then she hands her brush back to Thell, licksrepparttar 127730 excess paint with her pointed tongue, and its done. "She usually gives itrepparttar 127731 tongue signature," Thell says. It does take some coaxing to get Amanda to part with her work, but she will eventually push her creation underrepparttar 127732 cage door for retrieval. She is further rewarded for her efforts with either orange juice or a box of Kool-Aid, which she receives for every painting she completes.

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