The Ultimate Can Chimps Learn Language Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Because they share 98 percent of human DNA, researchers over the years have wondered whether chimpanzees can learn human language. Apart from Planet of the Apes, chimps don't yet engage in spontaneous communication with their trainers. Take this quiz and learn about some of the fascinating things happening in this field.

What is a unique trait that separates humans from animals?

The use of language to convey subtle or complex messages is one big difference.


What was the chimpanzee Washoe famous for?

She learned some 130 signs in American Sign Language.


How many signs did the chimp Nim memorize?

Nim memorized 150 signs.


What was the conclusion of researchers?

They concluded that the proficiency resulted from imitation, but there was no ability to engage in spontaneous communication.


What did scientists find during apes' signing or communicating?

The chimpanzee communication activated the same areas of the brain as human language.


What areas of the brain are activated when humans speak?

They are mainly Broca's area and Wernicke's area.


What is the difference between language and communication?

Language is more complex with millions of words as well as tone and pitch.


How does FOXP2 affect humans?

The gene FOXP2 codes for our language abilities.


According to the vocal theory, how did speech begin?

It states that changes in the mouth and larynx, as well as enlargement of the brain, enabled the natural vocalizations to develop into speech.


What have studies found regarding fetuses?

They found that fetuses can differentiate between male and female voices.


What does Broca's area control?

It controls language production.


And what is the function of Wernicke's area?

This area analyses and organizes what you hear.


After entering the ear, where are sounds initially identified?

The primary auditory cortex identifies the sounds and then sends them to Wernicke's area for interpretation.


What does the primary motor cortex do?

It signals the larynx and mouth to form the words selected in Broca's area.


A portion of tissue in Wernicke's area is known as planum temporale, what does it do?

This area plays a major role in understanding what we hear. It is also known as the "language center."


Since it is asymmetrical in shape, where does the bulk of it reside?

The bulk resides in the left hemisphere.


What is a lexigram?

It is a series of symbolic word representations created by primatologist Susan Savage-Rumbaugh.


Who are Kanzi and Panbanisha?

They are bonobo pygmy chimps Susan Savage-Rumbaugh has worked with in her research.


How do the chimps communicate?

They use specialized keyboards with lexigrams and point to the lexigrams to indicate words or short sentences.


What is the relevance of the arcuate fasciculus?

This bundle of nerves connects the language centers of the brain. In humans these nerves were more widespread in humans than in chimps, implying greater ability to analyze and contextualize linguistic information.


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