Picture this: You vs. the chimp

A chimp playing a game on a computer.

Rules of the game
First, researchers in Japan taught six chimps--three 5-year-olds and their mothers--to recognize and order the numbers 1 through 9. Then they taught them to play a memory game. In the game, the numbers would appear randomly on a video screen. The object was to touch them in order: 1, 2, 3, etc. But there was a catch. As soon as the chimps pressed 1, the rest of the numbers disappeared, covered over by white boxes. So they had to remember where they had seen the numbers and touch the white boxes that covered them.

Remarkable results 
Not only could the chimps do this just as accurately as college students, they could do it faster, too. So the scientists devised another test, to see who could remember and order five numbers that flashed on a screen for justfractions of a second. Result? Another chimp win. Lead researcher Tetsuro Matsuzawa says that chimps seem to have something akin to "photographic memory," at least for short-term tests.

by Steve Sampson, KnowledgeNews.net, used with permission