Friday, August 1, 2014

Chimp’s Genes Affect Their Intelligence

The closest cousins we have in the animal kingdom are chimps. They sort of look and behave like us, which is why a number of studies on our more “animalistic” side is done through chimps. A recent study on intelligence has showed how a chimp’s intelligence is actually affected by its genes. This new study can actually help add answers to the question of nature vs. nurture when it comes to intelligence.
By combining genetic analysis with a number of cognitive performance tests, researchers from the Georgia State University showed that some cognitive traits can actually be inherited by chimpanzees from their parents. Although not all traits are inheritable though but it’s a big discovering especially when we link our biological similarities to the apes.

How genetics plays a role in human intelligence has always been a long standing issue. Recently, it has been discovered that humans can pass their genes down to their offspring, but environmental and social factors such as socioeconomic status and education does pay a very big role in developing it. Basically the parent’s intelligence gene is just a seed and it’s up to the environment to develop an intelligent individual.

Since the question on genetics and intelligence on humans has been answered, researchers looked at if this also applies to nonhuman primates.  Chimps have been known to learn from their environment by mimicking older members of their social circle especially when it comes to survival. The study proves that they not only carry on physical traits from their parents. Genetics also has a say on the chimp’s intelligence and cognitive abilities, making them more complex and interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment