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Chimp intelligence 'runs in families,' environment less important

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posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 09:11 PM
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((ATS needs a forum for animal threads))

Chimp intelligence 'runs in families,' environment less important


A chimpanzee's intelligence is largely determined by its genes, while environmental factors may be less important than scientists previously thought, according to a Georgia State University research study.

The study found that some, but not all, cognitive, or mental, abilities, in chimpanzees depend significantly on the genes they inherit. The findings are reported in the latest issue of Current Biology.

"Intelligence runs in families," said Dr. William Hopkins, professor in the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State and research scientist in the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University. "The suggestion here is that genes play a really important role in their performance on tasks while non-genetic factors didn't seem to explain a lot. So that's new."

The role of genes in human intelligence or IQ has been studied for years, but Hopkins' study is among the first to address heritability in cognitive abilities in nonhuman primates. Studies have shown that human intelligence is inherited through genes, but social and environmental factors, such as formal education and socioeconomic status, also play a role and are somewhat confounded with genetic factors. Chimpanzees, which are highly intelligent and genetically similar to humans, do not have these additional socio-cultural influences.

"Chimps offer a really simple way of thinking about how genes might influence intelligence without, in essence, the baggage of these other mechanisms that are confounded with genes in research on human intelligence," Hopkins said.

The study involved 99 chimpanzees, ranging in age from 9 to 54, who completed 13 cognitive tasks designed to test a variety of abilities. Hopkins used quantitative genetics analysis to link the degree of relatedness between the chimpanzees to their similarities or differences in performance on the various cognitive measures to determine whether cognitive performance is inherited in chimpanzees.

Genes were found to play a role in overall cognitive abilities, as well as the performance on tasks in several categories.



In the future, Hopkins wants to continue the study with an expanded sample size. He would also like to pursue studies to determine which genes are involved in intelligence and various cognitive abilities as well as how genes are linked to variation in the organization of the brain.

Hopkins also would like to determine which genes changed in human evolution that allowed humans to have such advanced intelligence.


An interesting a finding.
We had thought that environmental conditions played an important role in the intelligence of Chimps but this study shows that genes have way more to do with it.

I hope that Hopkins is able to figure out which genes changed in human evolution that allowed humans to have such an advanced intelligence over other animals.




posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 09:21 PM
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I'm not sure about intelligence. I have observed families in which a lack thereof seemed be an inherited trait.



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 09:29 PM
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originally posted by: skunkape23
I'm not sure about intelligence. I have observed families in which a lack thereof seemed be an inherited trait.

Are you meaning chimps or humans? I guess that could be true with both.



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 09:38 PM
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originally posted by: knoledgeispower

originally posted by: skunkape23
I'm not sure about intelligence. I have observed families in which a lack thereof seemed be an inherited trait.

Are you meaning chimps or humans? I guess that could be true with both.

It well could be. I haven't really spent much time with chimps.



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 09:42 PM
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edit on 11-7-2014 by OrphanApology because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 09:42 PM
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a reply to: knoledgeispower

While interesting, it really only applies to chimps since they are socially very different than human beings. It doesn't even apply to other ape species as they are all different in sexual and social behaviors.

In humans the environment in which one grows up in makes a huge difference in intelligence later on. Most notable if the child is abused(neglected, sexually, physically).

It would be interesting if they studied bonobos as well since they are another ape species close to humans but also have completely different sexual and social behaviors.



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 09:48 PM
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If Chimps drank beer instead of eating bananas, they would be much smarter in twenty generations.



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 10:01 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
If Chimps drank beer instead of eating bananas, they would be much smarter in twenty generations.

The smoker you drink, the thinker you get. I want to participate in that experiment.



posted on Jul, 11 2014 @ 10:15 PM
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I'm constantly surprised by what articles say at the top compared to what they say in the middle (which most people skip over).


"In our case, at least, it suggests that purely environmental explanations don't really seem to tell the whole story," Hopkins said. "Genes matter as well."


I don't know what the latest term is, but that seems to rate a "Duh."

Besides, what differences are there in a Chimp environment? The types of trees they live in?

Now, this is a hush-hush secret, but a foreign government with very poor translation software has placed an order for 5,000 of them. They're hoping to create a guerrilla army.



posted on Jul, 12 2014 @ 12:10 AM
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With 'Chimps' the environmnet (I'm assuming in captivity) doesn't vary much. They all get the same food, very similar attention, etc. any differences in environment would be very controlled. I don't think that this study can be used to make comparions with humans in an infinitly variable conditions.

Epi-genetics is well proven. As genetics as well as habits and evironment tend to run in families as well. I don't think I'd call this a win for the 'nature' camp.



posted on Jul, 12 2014 @ 09:23 AM
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Oh, dear ... my husband and I are in trouble ... we're going to have to hop to stay ahead of our son if intellect is inherited.



posted on Jul, 12 2014 @ 07:12 PM
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originally posted by: charles1952


Besides, what differences are there in a Chimp environment? The types of trees they live in?


I'm guessing that the differences in Chimp environments would include things like food, predators & pray. ((I'm not talking about being in captivity))
edit on 12-7-2014 by knoledgeispower because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 12 2014 @ 08:55 PM
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I am no expert in the subject of epigentetics.
I have noticed that most of the impressively intelligent people I have met come from parents who have had an exceptional level of traumatic life experience. I have a few Vietnamese friends, offspring of parents who had to escape the war, that are amazingly intelligent. My friend Thang figured out how to solve a Rubik's cube in about ten minutes when we were in 4th grade.
I have also noticed that many I have known personally, that come from families who have had the easy life, are dumb asses.



posted on Jul, 13 2014 @ 06:51 PM
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originally posted by: skunkape23
I am no expert in the subject of epigentetics.
I have noticed that most of the impressively intelligent people I have met come from parents who have had an exceptional level of traumatic life experience. I have a few Vietnamese friends, offspring of parents who had to escape the war, that are amazingly intelligent. My friend Thang figured out how to solve a Rubik's cube in about ten minutes when we were in 4th grade.
I have also noticed that many I have known personally, that come from families who have had the easy life, are dumb asses.


From my experiences (imho):
When life is handed to you, there is no need to figure things out on your own.

When life is a struggle for you, you need to be a quick thinker in order to adapt & survive.

Now I'm no Einstein but I would consider myself of the latter category. I had to take care of my Mom & younger sister when I was 13 because they both have terminal illnesses. I basically raised my younger sister, especially when my Mom started drinking full time.

Due to those circumstances and some other things, I've had to learn how to adapt quickly to situations tossed at me. I also love to learn & continue to do so on my own. I've been told I'm intelligent by people now that I'm older but I never thought I was because I didn't learn the same way the kids in school did.




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