Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chimps Hooked on Videos

A new study published by St Andrews University reveals that chimpanzees (who are apes, not monkeys) can learn from watching videos.
Chimps who were shown a video of a trained chimp making a rake-like tool to grab food outside of its enclosure, were able to create a similar tool to grab their own food reward.
The video tutorial proved that chimps are able to learn in a social context, from one another.
However, those who watched the tutorial continued to build a long rake-like tool even when the grape outside their enclosure did not require a long twig.  Those who did not watch the video were more successful at grabbing the closer piece of fruit.  This demonstrates that social learning can, to some extent, repress creativity.
Here is a link to the full article "Chimps learn from watching videos".

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