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Chimp Beats College Kids in Computer Game

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NEW YORK (AP) - Think you're smarter than a fifth-grader? How about a 5-year-old chimp?

Japanese researchers pitted young chimps against human adults in tests of short-term memory. And overall, the chimps won.

One memory test included three chimps who'd been taught the order of numbers 1 through 9 against a dozen student volunteers.

They saw nine numbers displayed on a computer screen. When they touched the first number, the other eight turned into white squares. The test was to touch all these squares in the order of the numbers that used to be there.

One of the researchers believes human ancestors gave up some of the tested abilities to make room for language development. And the five-year old chimps had the advantage of youth. The memory for images that's needed for the tests resembles a skill found in children, but which grow rusty with age.

The results appear in the journal Current Biology.

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