Maybe Monkeys Can’t Do Algebra

Published by patrick honner on

giuseppe monkeyThere is a controversy brewing around Harvard scientist Marc Hauser, his research students, and his published results.  Some of Hauser’s work–which apparently focuses on the cognitive ability of non-human primates–has come under scrutiny, and one of his articles has been retracted.

According to the abstract, the retracted article (“Rule-Learning By Cotton Top Tamarins“) discussed how tests usually performed on human infants were used to “assess whether cotton-top tamarin monkeys can extract abstract algebraic rules”.  Obviously the results of the study are now in question, but it’s a fascinating idea nonetheless.

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


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