Chimps Have Learned To Play The Rock, Paper, Scissors Game

(PCM) Just when we thought we had heard it all, a new report from the Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute in Japan has revealed that the chimpanzee’s who reside in their facility have actually learned how to play the infamous rock, paper, scissors game.

According to Phys.org, “Chimpanzees of all ages and all sexes can learn the simple circular relationship between the three different hand signals used in the well-known game rock-paper-scissors. Even though it might take them longer, they are indeed able to learn the game as well as a young child.

Seven chimpanzees of different ages and sexes living in the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University were part of the experiment. They sat in a booth housing a computer-based touchscreen and were trained to choose the stronger of two options (based on the rules of the game) they saw on screen. They first learnt the paper-rock sequence, then the rock-scissors one and finally the scissors-paper combination. Once they knew how the pairs fitted together, all the different pairs were randomly presented to them on screen. Five of the seven chimpanzees completed the training after an average of 307 sessions.

The findings show that chimpanzees can learn the circular pattern at the heart of the game. However, it took them significantly longer to learn the third scissors-paper pair than it did to grasp the others, which indicates that they had difficulty finalizing the circular nature of the pattern.”

Once the research was completed on the chimpanzee’s the researchers then decided to compare the results with those taken from teaching preschool age children the game. They were able to compare the speed at which the children aged three to six years old were able to pick up and learn the game with that of the chimpanzees. The children were able to pick up on the game much faster, however a lot of that reasoning factored into their age.

The older the children were, the more accurate they became when all three pairs were randomly presented to them. Participants older than four years of age played the game with more skill rather than luck. Both the chimpanzee’s and the children were both able to grasp the overall pattern of the game and the researchers hope that their findings will reveal additional details about the way in which we develop relationships with circular and repetitive or cause and effect situations.

 

 

 

 

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