Monkey Brain ‘Hardwired’ for Simple Math

There seem to have been a number of articles recently that detail evidence that humans are “hard-wired” for math; in fact, one such article appeared on this blog already. Now comes further evidence that not just humanity, but primates in general are innately mathematical. An article appearing on Yahoo describes findings by German neurobiologists that “rhesus macaques can engage in abstract mathematical reasoning using specific brain cells dedicated to the comprehension of math rules and relationships.” In fact, the article notes that this recent observation is just the latest piece of evidence for innate math abilities: apparently a 2007 study found that young chimpanzees actually out-performed some human adults in tracking numbers and remembering sequencing!

Addendum: And here comes more evidence. A new article entitled “Preschoolers Use Statistics to Understand Others” details the result of an experiment where babies intuited a character’s feelings about a kind of toy by observing how likely the character was to select the toy. I’ll let you read the article to see exactly how the experiment worked. I’m guessing that many more articles with findings like this one are on the way.

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