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In 300,000 tests, the six baboons distinguished between real and fake words about three-out-of-four times, according to the study published in Thursday’s journal Science.
In finding the letters in words and the relations between these letters – they are capitalising on a pre-existing ability to identify everyday objects, which we share with non-human primates. Man learned to read in the Fertile golden Crescent in the Middle East some 5000 years ago and it is in evolutionary timescale,a bleep. It must be instinctive and is a specific area behind the left ear.
The baboons, however, are only spotting sequences of letters so they can get fed. They don’t actually understand what the words mean.
“The baboons use information about letters and the relations between letters in order to perform our task… This is based on a very basic ability to identify everyday objects in the environment,” Dr. John Grainger at the Aix-Marseille University told BBC Nature.
Researchers in France discovered our hairy genetic cousins can recognize hundreds of four-letter words on a computer screen, and they can tell a real word apart from a nonsense jumble of letters. The key is that these animals not only learned by trial and error which letter combinations were correct, but they also noticed which letters tend to go together to form real words, such as SH but not FX, said Grainger. So even when new words were sprung on them, they did a better job at figuring out which were real.
Trees can communicate with man. Only that it is in the way these convert into oxygen from the amount of carbon dioxide that we exhale. Non verbal, verbal chemical communications are part of interactive world of which we barely understand.
benny

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