Wednesday 16 June 2010

Scientists: 'Monkeys like TV'

16 June 2010

Scientists in Japan have published a new study which they say proves that monkeys like watching television.

A three-year-old male rhesus macaque enjoyed a video of a circus elephant, giraffe and tiger performing, according to scientists from 1 University's Primate Research Institute.

Scientists used a technique called near-infrared spectroscopy to examine various aspects of the blood flow to the brain of the monkey while it was watching the television images.

The study found that when the monkey was witnessing the acrobatic performances of circus animals on a television screen, the frontal lobe area of its brain became vigorously active.

The activity in such an area was significant in reflecting the monkey's pleasure, as the human equivalent is a neurological area associated with triggering delight in a baby when it sees the smile of its mother.

The study, published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, the Swiss online scientific journal, reflects the latest parallels between the physiological make-up of monkeys and humans.

Previous studies have revealed how monkeys learn in a similar way to humans, in terms of how they acquire and store information.

Another recent study conducted by scientists at the same Kyoto University institute showed how mother monkeys teaching their young how to floss their teeth in a similar way to humans.

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