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猴子算算數...猴腮雷!

Do you all remember the story of "Morning Three Evening Four"?

Yes, a monkey is not happy when he learns that his master will only give him three nuts in the morning, and four in the evening. But he becomes happy when his master promises to give him four nuts in the morning and three in the afternoon.

Alright, it proves that (1) the monkey can tell that four is more than three, and (2) the monkey is too stupid to know that 3+4=4+3=7, and by implication, monkeys can't do addition.

But a new study shows that monkeys can do mental addition almost as well as college students. Ready to change your view about monkeys?

Hm. 13521 plus 32454987 is...?


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EPA - Private Investigator in the Sky

這是美國國家環境保護局網站裡的一個小遊戲,在這個遊戲裡,你必須將跟環境保護有關的單字正確地拼出來,好協助私家偵探的辦案,別擔心,每個單字都有提示,不過可別亂猜,不然偵探先生可就要倒大楣囉!Good Luck!

 

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小編聽到了同學向天(?)哭喊的心聲了~這一回小編又長途跋涉到了視聽館302資料室,幫同學找到了解決英文詞彙用法的寶典啦。這次介紹的英語搭配詞典,能讓你快速的找到想用的字,學習那個字在英文中常搭配的動詞、介系詞、形容詞、句型結構等等,保證讓你寫出道地的英文唷。鄭重介紹...中式英文剋星--BBI搭配詞典!

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 英語宅急便


Mental addition? What a monkey business.

相信大家都看得出來小編在刊頭說的是"朝三暮四"的故事啦。是的,科學家早已經發現猴子能夠辨別數量的大小,但是說到猴子有沒有計算的能力...大家可能就不敢確定了。日前科學家拿杜克大學的大學生來跟猴子比一比心算加法,沒想到猴子的程度跟大學生差不多!接下來我們看一下頭腦不太靈光的大學生Newtoon,想要怎麼利用這個新發現吧。

Newtoon: Liebneez! I failed calculus again.

Liebneez: Phew, is this like, the fourth time? Well, well, don’t be disheartened. College calculus courses are invented with the sole purpose of messing up our otherwise pleasant existence.

Newtoon: Honestly, despite the fact that my name is so similar to Sir Isaac Newton’s, I am beginning to suspect that I am actually dumb.

Liebneez: Nonsense. Let me see where your problem lies…. Hm. Newtoon, all these calculations seem fine, you just didn’t add up the numbers right.

Newtoon: I know. I simply cannot do addition. I have no idea how I survived elementary school.

Liebneez: Speaking of doing addition, do you know that monkeys can do mental addition almost as well as college students?

Newtoon: Oh, wow. I don’t know that. That’s awesome! How do you know?

Liebneez: There are some researches who conducted an experiment, which goes like this: the researchers display variable numbers of dots on the screen to two rhesus monkeys. They show one set of dots on a computer touch screen for a half-second, and then another set a half-second later. They then show two separate clusters of dots at the same time, one of which was the correct sum of the first two sets. If the monkey chooses the correct cluster, they will be rewarded.

Newtoon: Er… Liebneez. I can’t follow.

Liebneez: (Sigh) ok. Say the researchers first show 5 dots on the screen quickly, and then 8 dots. After which, the screen displays two sets of dots, one consists of 13 dots, while another consists of 16 dots. And the monkeys should choose the 13 dots cluster, because it represents the correct sum of 5 and 8.

Newtoon: I thought the correct cluster is the one with 16 dots…

Liebneez: No, it is not.

Newtoon: Alright.

Liebneez: Anyways. They gave the task to the two monkeys as well as 14 college students from Duke University, and it turned out that the college students’ test result was not significantly better than the monkeys’.

Newtoon: Wow. Monkeys are smart. I wonder whether some of them are called Newton, or Newtoon, or Newtom, or… Liebniz.

Liebneez: I really don’t see names as a factor in this discovery. The main point seems to be that arithmetic ability is pretty primitive in the course of human evolution, not that there are monkeys named after some mathematician.

Newtoon: Yeah, but still! The monkeys are smarter than I ever thought. Hey, do you think I should get some monkeys or chimpanzee to sit in my calculus midterm in my stead?

Liebneez: Although I don’t think they can read any of the mathematical signs, but they can probably do better additions than you. You know, if you are going to implement this plan, you better stop shaving.

Newtoon: Good thinking. Cool. I now pledge to become the most monkey-like student in my calculus class next year!

 

Wordbank:

calculus (n) 微積分
task (n) 任務;作業
disheartened (adj) 沮喪的,灰心的
factor (n) 因素;要素
addition (n) 加法
arithmetic (adj) 算術,計算

mental (adj)內心的;在腦中進行的

primitive (adj) 原始的;早期的
variable (adj)可變的;【數】變量的
chimpanzee (n) 黑猩猩
rhesus monkey (n) 恆河猴
in sb's stead (adv ph) 代替(某人)
touch screen (n) 觸碰式螢幕
implement (v) 履行;實施;執行
cluster (n) 群,組
shave (v) 刮(鬍子、毛髮等)
sum (n) 總和
pledge (v) 保證,誓言
consist of (v ph)由...構成

 

相關連結:

Fox News: Monkeys Do Math Almost as Well as Humans

Science Daily: Monkeys Can Perform Mental Addition

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