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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Human Complex Systems


Quantitative Differences Between the Working Memory of  Chimpanzees and Humans Give Rise to Qualitative Differences: Subitizing and Cranial Development


A recent article argues that pure working memory in humans and chimpanzees have the  same size.  However, the data offered to support this claim show the opposite, namely that the  size of pure working memory in chimpanzees is smaller than that of humans.  In addition, extensive data show that the effective size of working memory in chimpanzees is much smaller than in humans.  Altogether, there are quantitative differences in the size of working memory (pure or effective) between chimpanzees and humans leading to significant qualitative differences between them.

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