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Nova Presents Ape Genius And Mirror Neurons

649 words - 3 pages

Ape Genius presents resourceful information about apes and their development in comparison to Humans. It sights chimpanzees making and using deadly weapons. In some cases they seem to even be collaborating in premeditated attacks for food. The video even sights apes using water as a tool. Their intellectual ability is closely related to that of the human’s but is said to lack “full ignition” due to behavioral issues. While no other species is known to do many of the things an ape can do, including making and using weapons, apes have emotional issues which inhibit their learning abilities and thus separate them from the humans. They are both aggressive and impulsive which is said to be the reason that they are unable to learn from or be taught by each other. A simple experiment testing children, dogs, and chimpanzees placed an instructor in front of two cups and then had he/she point to ...view middle of the document...

Chimpanzees also lack the ability to cheep one another on. The more social culture of Humans is much more evolving because humans have the ability to learn and share information. Mirror Neurons shows it’s viewers a recent discovery that will help explain this difference. A neuron known to be responsible for motor skills was discovered recently to also be linked to seeing the task preformed. This neuron is located on either sides of our heads. It responds to both the movement of oneself and also that of others. It was discovered in a monkey laboratory. One monkey was hooked up to a machine that would fire when the monkey picked up a peanut, the surprise came when it fired while the monkey was seated and it was the laboratory technician who picked up the nut. This neuron has since been tested with humans and is now known to be linked to our ‘monkey see monkey do’ actions. It provides humans with a much greater understanding of our social behaviors. These “mirror neurons” are quoted “as being the evolutionary advantage that humans have over other species.”
Looking into this subject I would like to see a reaction test of these mirror neurons done of apes in observation of other apes. Will these mirror neurons fire then? Apes are very social with humans, or at least those raised in laboratory conditions. They are known to ask for help from a human or even offer help. So the fact that this neuron fired while watching what is the closest teacher for them, can make sense. I would have liked to have seen maybe a comparison between the reaction of seeing another ape pick up a peanut and seeing a human pick it up. In humans these mirror neurons fire less when we see a smiling face then when we make one. I was just curious if there is a reason to be. Overall I had no information about these mirror neurons before watching this video. This is a major discover into understanding our social interactions and environment.

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