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Capuchins and rhesus monkeys don't. Find out more in our newest paper on cognitive shortcut use out in SciReports! Partway through the game, the researchers introduced a shortcut: a quick-and-dirty cheat to win the game without following the established rules. Suddenly, the blue triangle began to appear at the start of gameplay, alongside the striped and spotted squares.

Evolution of Modern Humans: Early Modern Human Culture

If a player clicked on the blue triangle immediately, they received their reward right away. This shortcut appeared in half of the subsequent trials. In comparison, only one human out of 56 took the shortcut when it first appeared, and none used the strategy in every trial they could. Instead, they stuck to what they knew, clicking the striped and spotted squares in succession before daring to prod the blue triangle.

In a related experiment , the same human participants were shown a video of someone else employing the shortcut and were explicitly told not to "be afraid to try something new. The authors suggested that educational practices may make humans more likely to cling to one problem-solving strategy rather than looking for alternatives. For example, the researchers noted that standardized testing and formal schooling in Western cultures "may encourage rote repetition and search for a single correct solution," the researchers wrote in the paper.

In the game, four squares appeared on screen during each trial: one striped, one spotted and two blank. In training sessions, players learned that clicking the striped square and then the spotted square would cause a blue triangle to pop up in place of one of the blank squares. Clicking the blue triangle produced a reward — in this case, an auditory whoop for humans to indicate that they had solved the puzzle, and a banana pellet for monkeys.

HUMANS OF NEW YORK

The primates voluntarily enter the testing compartment during the study and interact with the computer using a modified video game controller. Capuchins and rhesus monkeys don't. Find out more in our newest paper on cognitive shortcut use out in SciReports! Partway through the game, the researchers introduced a shortcut: a quick-and-dirty cheat to win the game without following the established rules. Suddenly, the blue triangle began to appear at the start of gameplay, alongside the striped and spotted squares. If a player clicked on the blue triangle immediately, they received their reward right away.

New fossil find sheds light on how humans learned to walk

This shortcut appeared in half of the subsequent trials. In comparison, only one human out of 56 took the shortcut when it first appeared, and none used the strategy in every trial they could. And the latest work was a cross-disciplinary attempt to fill some blanks in the picture of our evolutionary history. All of this work also circles the increasingly confusing definition of a species.

There are no distinct lines between one species and the next; everything works in shades of gray. The controversy over our origins will surely continue. Unlike many fields of study, human evolution is not something you can design experiments to test, Akey adds. But then again, perhaps scientists need to rethink the debate entirely. Read Caption. Controversial new study pinpoints where all modern humans arose The research reignites a long-simmering debate about how and where our species emerged.

The New Humans by Mary Rodwell

By Maya Wei-Haas. Human origins. Today only one branch of the family tree remains: us.


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  • Submission history;

Homo sapiens. One million years ago mya.

From Genius to Madness

Two mya. Three mya. Four mya. Four million years ago mya.

One mya. Homo luzonensis. Kenyanthropus platyops. Australopithecus anamensis.