Neuroscience

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Chimps solve puzzles for the thrill of it

The apes, which are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, seem to get the same level of satisfaction out of solving brain teasers as their human evolutionary cousins.


A study published by the Zoological Society of London shows that six chimpanzees who were given a game which involved moving red dice or Brazil through a maze of pipes enjoyed solving the puzzle whether they got a reward or not.


The researchers claim this suggests they got the same kind of psychological reward as humans get when solving problems.


Most problem solving witnessed in the animal kingdom, where animals use tools or navigate mazes, are with the aim of reaching food. Hyenas, octopuses and birds such as crows all show the ability to solve problems.


Chimpanzees have also been witnessed in the wild using tools such as a stick to forage for insects or honey in hard to reach places like tree stumps.
But ZSL researcher Fay Clark said their research said they could be motivated by more than just food.
She said: “We noticed that the chimps were keen to complete the puzzle regardless of whether or not they received a food reward.
"This strongly suggests they get similar feelings of satisfaction to humans who often complete brain games for a feel-good reward.”

Chimps solve puzzles for the thrill of it

The apes, which are our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, seem to get the same level of satisfaction out of solving brain teasers as their human evolutionary cousins.

A study published by the Zoological Society of London shows that six chimpanzees who were given a game which involved moving red dice or Brazil through a maze of pipes enjoyed solving the puzzle whether they got a reward or not.

The researchers claim this suggests they got the same kind of psychological reward as humans get when solving problems.

Most problem solving witnessed in the animal kingdom, where animals use tools or navigate mazes, are with the aim of reaching food. Hyenas, octopuses and birds such as crows all show the ability to solve problems.

Chimpanzees have also been witnessed in the wild using tools such as a stick to forage for insects or honey in hard to reach places like tree stumps.

But ZSL researcher Fay Clark said their research said they could be motivated by more than just food.

She said: “We noticed that the chimps were keen to complete the puzzle regardless of whether or not they received a food reward.

"This strongly suggests they get similar feelings of satisfaction to humans who often complete brain games for a feel-good reward.”

Filed under primates problem solving reward animal behavior cognitive challenge psychology neuroscience science

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    IMO this study also shows that captive animals, including pet dogs, like having something to do! One recommendation I...
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