Scientists at the medical school of Harvard University in the U.S. proved that monkeys are capable of performing mathematical operations of addition, the digital portal The Verge reported today.
The team led by the neurobiologist Margaret Livingstone taught three Rhesus macaque to identify the symbols that represent the numbers from zero to 25, and then these monkeys were trained to perform simple arithmetic operations of addition.
“The monkeys demonstrated the ability to not only differentiate between the symbols but also to add the values of two symbols at a time,” said Margaret Livingstone, a neuroscientist at Harvard University’s medical school.
The results suggest that the monkeys learned to distinguish the symbols and assign them specific values. Monkeys estimated quantity based on relative value rather than absolute value. This could give new insight into the evolutionary origins of our ability to count, the researchers added.
The team is now planning to see if the animals can multiply numbers too.