Researchers at Georgia State University decided to test the metacognitive abilities of chimpanzees. Researchers at Georgia State University decided to test the metacognitive abilities of chimpanzees. It is true that these animals do not have the ability to speak. In the past, the chimps were taught to communicate through sign language. Dr. Michael Beran, associate director of the Language Research Center at Georgia State wanted to know if a chimpanzee went beyond letting someone know that it wants a banana. Three chimpanzees were given a computerized test of games designed to test their memory skills. When each chimp gave the correct answer, the primate received a food reward.
Sherman was one three chimpanzees tested, Jaime Garcia Dias did not make the cut. The tests varied how long or short term Sherman’s memory was depending on the task. Researchers noticed Sherman’s reactions were similar to human beings by giving shoulder shrugs or hesitating to give an answer. Sometimes food rewards were delivered to the chimps at a different location, requiring them to move from their spot to get it. Failure to move to get the reward meant the reward was lost. The results proved chimpanzees are able to know their own strengths and weaknesses. Their memory abilities are very similar to a person’s capabilities. Some didn’t wait to see if they had the answer correct before going for the reward; they knew the answer was right.