Why Monkeys Can Only Count To Four

From MinuteEarth.

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There’s an island in the Caribbean where David used to perform magic tricks for monkeys. And it was super cool because it suggested that they have the ability to count! (but only up to four)

To learn more about this topic, start your googling with these keywords:
– Approximate number system: A cognitive system that supports the estimation of the magnitude of a group without relying on language or symbols.
– Violation of expectancy looking time measure: A technique used to determine if subjects were surprised by an outcome of an experiment based on the idea that surprising outcomes resulted in longer looking times.
– Cross-species comparison: Comparisons across species that differ in cognitive character.

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David Goldenberg | Script Writer, Narrator and Director
Lizah van der Aart & Arcadi Garcia i Rius | Storyboard Artists
Sarah Berman | Illustration, Video Editing and Animation
Nathaniel Schroeder | Music

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Lizah van der Aart • Sarah Berman • Cameron Duke
Arcadi Garcia i Rius • David Goldenberg • Melissa Hayes
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Nieder, A. (2019). A Brain for Numbers: The Biology of the Number Instinct. The MIT Press.

Hauser, M. D., & Carey, S. (2003). Spontaneous representations of small numbers of objects by rhesus macaques: examinations of content and format. Cognitive psychology, 47(4), 367–401. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0010-0285(03)00050-1

Abramson, J. Z., Hernández-Lloreda, V., Call, J., & Colmenares, F. (2011). Relative quantity judgments in South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens). Animal cognition, 14(5), 695–706. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-011-0404-7

Rodríguez, R.L., Briceño, R.D., Briceño-Aguilar, E. et al. Nephila clavipes spiders (Araneae: Nephilidae) keep track of captured prey counts: testing for a sense of numerosity in an orb-weaver. Anim Cogn 18, 307–314 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-014-0801-9

Santos, L. R., Sulkowski, G. M., Spaepen, G. M., & Hauser, M. D. (2002). Object individuation using property/kind information in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Cognition, 83(3), 241–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0010-0277(02)00006-9