Look out, gamers: chimpanzees might be coming for your high scores. Panzee, a 22-year-old female chimp, significantly outperformed 12 children and 4 adults on a complex maze in a virtual-reality computer game.
Researchers pitted four adult chimps against twelve human children ranging from 3 to 12 years old, and four adult humans. The chimpanzees tended to do about as well as the kids between 3 and 6 years old, completing the maze in a similar amount of time. The scientists were also recording “travel efficiency,” or how much distance the gamers covered before beating the game. That’s where Panzee shined: on the most difficult maze, she took a significantly shorter route to the prize than the kids – and even the adults.