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In a Game of Strategy: Chimps Beat Tribesmen and Undergrads

So, chimpanzees are better than some humans at game theory and tactics, apparently. Three study groups: undergraduates from Japan, tribesmen from Guinea, and chimpanzees, were pitted against each other in a game of strategy. The Chimps won.

A study undertaken by the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute and Cal-tech showed that chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, were better than the tested humans at strategy planning, among other traits. The study compared results of memory and strategy competitions between six chimpanzee contestants and human contestants, comprised of 16 undergraduate students in Kyoto, Japan and 12 people in Bossou, Guinea.

The investigation involved games which called for determining the best strategy when dealing with a competitive contest. This game was a virtual version of hide-and-seek, played by chimps. The ultimate object of the game was to predict the next move made by another player. Opponents were faced back-to-back, so there could be no communication between the subjects. Human victors were provided with financial bonuses as incentives. Winning chimps were given apple cubes as a reward.

Given a choice of two blocks, each player had to guess which of the two their opponent would choose. This simple game uses many of the same skills found both in the business world and the wild. Any yes-no question involving risk and reward has parallels to this contest.


“The nice thing about the game theory used in this study is that it allows you to boil down all of these situations to their strategic essence,” Rahul Bhui of CalTech, co-author of the study, said.


Mathematician John Forbes Nash developed a theory called the Nash Equation. This idea states that no matter how well someone plays this type of game, there is a limit of how well they can perform. Chimpanzees in the experiment tested close to this theoretical best-possible score.


Previous research indicated our closest relatives among apes have superior short-term memory skills when compared to humans. Researchers believe these short-term memory skills, combined with quick visual acuity and pattern recognition, could be responsible for this miraculous performance. Apes are also far more competitive than humans, who tend to act in a more cooperative manner. This tendency could have also aided chimpanzees in the experiment. Chimpanzees are also significantly stronger than humans.


Investigation of the game theory skills of chimpanzees and how they compare to humans was detailed in the journal Nature.



Happy Monk(ape)day :_)

Rabbit Castle of Hope

Meet Hope, a rabbit who was given a second chance.  In this heartwarming rags-to-riches story, Hope the Bunny escapes near death to be now living hoppily in her cardboard castle of dreams.



Hope was rescued and nursed back to health by Sweet Binks Rabbit Rescue in Foster, Rhode Island, before moving to Massachusetts with Amy, her new owner. She was given her name by rescue workers at a shelter, in the hopes that she would find a happy forever home.


Happy Bunday (|^_^|)