Which studies proved that macaques were superior to humans in recalling in which a sequence of items appeared?

I saw a video which reported on an experiment using computers, macaques and humans, I believe from the 80s or 90s:

  • subjects (humans and macaques) played a video game and macaques performed vastly better than humans;
  • the games consisted of two phases:
    1. in the first phase, a sequence of items (numbers, I believe) appear on the screen in distinct positions, at regular interval;
    2. in the second phase, the items are masked, and the subject is asked to select the items in the order in which they appeared.
  • increasing the length of the sequence and reducing the time each item is shown quickly lost the human subjects, when the macaques subjects could play on instances which no humans answered correctly.

I would be interested in designing a software to repeat such experiment using modern computing devices such as tablets and smart phones, with other species of animals other than humans, but could not find the reference of the original study, nor whether similar studies had been performed since.


1 Answer 1


The 2011 article Working memory of numerals in chimpanzees by Sana Inoue and Tetsuro Matsuzawa is only 2 pages long but describes an experiment proving that chimpanzee memory may indeed be superior to human memory capability for numerical recollection.

There have been other similar studies comparing human abilities with that of other apes:

I hope such a list will be useful to others than me!


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