Great news: Chimps actually follow, remember the action in ‘horror’ flicks

Great news: Chimps actually follow, remember the action in ‘horror’ flicks
Memory alpha. (Image via Royal Zoological Society of Scotland)

[Ed. – Fortunately, their demonstrated attention span looks pretty short.]

When shown a ‘horror’ film, featuring an actor dressed as a King Kong attacking a human, the selected Chimps watched on intensely, neither covering their eyes nor accepting treats as they may distract from the viewing.

In the 40-second film, King Kong is taunted by a human on the other side of a cage. The ape then breaks free, attacking the human. The human then grabs a red hammer and precedes [sic] to hit King Kong. Frightening stuff.

The mini-film was shown twice to the Chimpanzees, 24 hours apart from each other, each time their eyes being tracked. …

What is remarkable about the video is that, on second viewing, their eyes quickly dash to the hammer before anyone goes near it. They also predict where the human will move to in order to grab the weapon.

According to the research, which was published in journal Current Biology, this proves that the chimps are able to remember information from the first screening and and manipulate those memories, thus being aware the hammer was going to be used and noticing it had changed position.

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