(Image Source: Science)

BY GINA COOK
ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO

Is the movie “Planet of the Apes” a sign of what’s to come? --- a study published in the journal Science shows baboons can recognize real words from fake words.  Check out the video.

“Then touching a plus sign if the stimulus is a non-word and then the oval shape if the stimulus is a word.  So that was a word, and this baboon seems to be doing quite well.”

The six baboons in a French university study were allowed to come and go as they pleased from the testing booths and were awarded treats when they recognized the difference between four letter English words and a jumble of letters.  Scientific American says this doesn’t mean the primates can read.

“Remember, the baboons have no idea what any of the words mean. As far as anyone can tell, all the baboons know is that there are two categories of patterns on the screen … Over time, the baboons got better at distinguishing the true words from nonsense.”

So much better in fact that the baboons learned to distinguish as many as 308 true words with 75% accuracy. USA Today spoke with a neuroscientist who explains the implications of the study.


“The really striking result is that baboons could distinguish, in a statistical sense, not only words from non-words but (they) saw them the way that human English readers do as well...”

Science News says the findings could challenge the way children are currently taught to read by matching written words to corresponding speech sounds.


“Instead...reading initially taps into brain regions that recognize different objects by sight and that evolved in all primates. The baboons in the study drew on this capacity to track pairs of letters that distinguish real from bogus words.”

Study Shows Baboons Can Recognize English Words

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Apr 13, 2012

Study Shows Baboons Can Recognize English Words

(Image Source: Science)

BY GINA COOK
ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO

Is the movie “Planet of the Apes” a sign of what’s to come? --- a study published in the journal Science shows baboons can recognize real words from fake words.  Check out the video.

“Then touching a plus sign if the stimulus is a non-word and then the oval shape if the stimulus is a word.  So that was a word, and this baboon seems to be doing quite well.”

The six baboons in a French university study were allowed to come and go as they pleased from the testing booths and were awarded treats when they recognized the difference between four letter English words and a jumble of letters.  Scientific American says this doesn’t mean the primates can read.

“Remember, the baboons have no idea what any of the words mean. As far as anyone can tell, all the baboons know is that there are two categories of patterns on the screen … Over time, the baboons got better at distinguishing the true words from nonsense.”

So much better in fact that the baboons learned to distinguish as many as 308 true words with 75% accuracy. USA Today spoke with a neuroscientist who explains the implications of the study.


“The really striking result is that baboons could distinguish, in a statistical sense, not only words from non-words but (they) saw them the way that human English readers do as well...”

Science News says the findings could challenge the way children are currently taught to read by matching written words to corresponding speech sounds.


“Instead...reading initially taps into brain regions that recognize different objects by sight and that evolved in all primates. The baboons in the study drew on this capacity to track pairs of letters that distinguish real from bogus words.”

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