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Showing posts with the label calculations

No Monkey Business with Math Calculating Primates

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Most of us have difficulty with math. The exercise lands in the categories somewhere between going to the dentist and paying bills. However, math is an important function of higher order thinking. It requires the ability to understand quantities of information and put those into symbols for manipulation. According to a recent study in the National Academy of Science (PNAS) Rhesus Monkeys have the ability to do math using similar methods as humans.  Using three Rhesus Macques that are four and five years old the researchers put them into an intense math learning program. The monkeys studied two to four hours a day and were rewarded with treats. Sometimes these monkeys studied seven days a week in their own learning classes.  The monkeys touched a screen choosing between two options ( 1 ). The touch screen only required them to touch the right answers to get rewarded (conditioning). They were taught 26 abstract symbols by reinforcing correct learning. The monkeys were able

Plants Make Complex Chemical Calculations

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Plants do math. That is right…researchers have found that plants make calculations to determine the amount of food they will need to make it through the night. During the day they convert sun light into sugars and starch but at night they use 95% of that starch by the start of dawn. The rate is variable depending on the length of the evening. The research helps show chemical intelligence. Using the Arabidopsis plant they found that they take an internal measurement of the amount of starch available and make a measurement of the time needed until day light. They release the starch throughout the evening to create growth. The plants are not doing human calculations but do use chemicals to make this determination of time and starch. Available starch(S) is divided by available Time (T) for maximum growth. There is a type of chemical division going on that takes starch and separates by hours. The plants even showed the ability to adjust their calculations in the middle of the ni