Delayed figure reconstruction by a chimpanzee (pan-troglodytes) and humans (homo-sapiens)
Kazuo Fujita, Tetsuro Matsuzawa
A chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) was trained to construct a copy of 3-element compound figures from a set of 9 elements. Delay intervals between sample offset and element presentation varied. The chimpanzee maintained accuracy at about 80% correct for a delay of 32 s, which was slightly higher than the mean of 4 human (Homo sapiens) Ss. Excellent visual reproductive memory in the chimpanzee as compared with that in humans was demonstrated. However, the nature of the reproductive memory was different in the 2 species in that humans better constructed meaningful figures, which represented food items, than meaningless ones, whereas the chimpanzee constructed these 2 types of figures with the same accuracy. This outcome suggests that the reproductive memory for meaningful figures of the chimpanzee may have been processed separately from symbolic processes.