Ayumu, the Chimpanzee: Background information when reading Animal Wise

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Animal Wise

The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures

by Virginia Morell

Animal Wise
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    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2013, 304 pages
    Mar 2014, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Christian Tubau

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Ayumu, the Chimpanzee

In Virginia Morell's Animal Wise, the reader learns many surprising things about a chimpanzee's skills. The book features one chimpanzee in Japan, Ayumu, who was has been extremely successful at sequence-memory tests. Ayumu lives with his mother Ai at the University of Kyoto's Primate Research Institute, headed by Professor Tetsuro Matsuzawa. In a test, the chimpanzee was shown a randomly distributed sequence of numerals over milliseconds, a blink of an eye, on a touchscreen. Then the numbers were hidden behind white blocks and Ayumu was expected to remember the location of the numerals and touch the white blocks in the correct ascending order. As the video of the experiment below, shows, the quickness and precision of Ayumu's responses were extremely impressive.

This same experiment has been conducted numerous times on Ayumu, his mom and on human subjects. As part of the study, the time between when the subject is shown the numbers, and then covered up, was changed. The ...

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