Did you know that expression “smart as a monkey” originally, wasn’t it necessarily the most flattering? Because in the past, popular belief made the monkey … a creature of the devil. So we had to listen “smart” in the sense of “malicious” much more than in the sense of“smart” o“smart”.
And then the scientists got involved. We were taught that monkeys belong to the same order as humans. The primates. The so-calledwe have even integrated our hominid family directly. chimpanzees o they are, therefore, our cousins. Thus, when we speak, in everyday language, of “ours »it is rather to designate the that we may have had with the great apes that lived six million years ago.
Over the last few decades, researchers have also discovered that monkeys are very intelligent. “Smart” in the sense of “smart”, this time. They really started to realize this in the 60’s., a young British ethologist, observed that a chimpanzee used a branch to catch termites. The first evidence that the use of tools was not exclusive to humans. The first proof that animals can also rely on some kind of .
From there, scientists discovered all sorts of cognitive skills in our cousins the apes. They have memory. They know how to learn and transmit. They like to play. They know how to recognize themselves in a. Chimpanzees have even been seen looking left and then right before crossing a road. And remember the the female gorilla who had learned to speak with her hands … Finally, great apes may well be smarter than some of our ancestors.
A “network in default mode” that makes a difference
To get to the bottom of it, researchers have gone even further. They were interested in the brains of four species of primates: the mouse lemur, the tit, the macaque and … Man. And more precisely even in their brain networks. Those that connect different regions of the brain to each other.
In humans, scientists have identified a rather surprising network. They call it the “network in default mode”. Connect several. And this “network in default mode” it is associated with introspection, self-reflection, and planning for the future. It activates especially when … we do nothing!
However, researchers now assure us that in the nonhuman primates they have studied, two particular regions of theconnected by the “network in default mode” they communicate little when these monkeys are at rest. It is about median, responsible for information handling, and the posterior cingulate cortex, which acts as interactions between brain regions. According to scientists, this is a sign that this famous network does not exist identically in these primates. Although scientists still believe that the “default mode” of our cousins, the great apes, might be a little more like ours.
This particular organization for the human being of the “network in default mode” it could be what offered us the opportunity to develop a particular abstract thought. Differentiate our intelligence from that of other primates. Although I’m sure the monkey … isn’t that stupid!