The Daily Beast - April 14, 2012
A picture released on April 12, 2012 shows a baboon reaching out to press a touch-sensitive screen in Marseille. The animals could freely enter the booths and complete multiple rounds of the computer-based exercise, in which they saw a four-letter sequence appear and then tapped one of two shapes on the screen to classify the sequence as a word or a non-word. They received a food treat after a correct response. The monkeys in this study learned how to tell the difference between printed sequences of letters that made up actual English words and other, nonsense sequences. These findings challenge the long-held notion that the ability to recognize words in this way -- as combinations of objects that appear visually in certain sequences -- is fundamentally related to language.
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