Chimps Beat Humans at Computerized Hide and Seek

chimp_face_1170-770x460A recent study at the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute has proved, something I’m sure. I’m just not clear on what that might be. Some sort of relationship between chimpanzees and humans I’m guessing.

In the game, two players (either a pair of chimps or a pair of humans) are set up back to back, each facing a computer screen. To start the game, each player pushes a circle on the monitor and then selects one of two blue boxes on the left or right side of the screen. After both players have chosen left or right, the computer shows each player her opponent’s choice. This continues through 200 iterations per game.

The goal of the players in the “hiding” role—the “mismatchers”—is to choose the opposite of their opponent’s selection. Players in the “seeking” role—the “matchers”—win if they make the same choices as their opponent.

If players are to win repeatedly, they have to accurately predict what their opponent will do next, anticipating their strategy.

What I gather from this is that either chimpanzees have an easier time predicting what the mismatcher is going to do. Or the chimp mismatcher isn’t as invested in winning as the human. Perhaps they just don’t want that chunk of apple bad enough. Now if they offered bananas, the results may be different.

Hit the jump for a video.