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Study Shows Monkeys Like Watching TV

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the jungle-news-network dept.

Television 103

According to a Japanese study, monkeys are not immune to the siren call of the idiot box. It seems rhesus monkeys enjoy watching videos of circus animals. From the article: "The study found that when the monkey was witnessing the acrobatic performances of circus animals on a television screen, the frontal lobe area of its brain became vigorously active. The activity in such an area was significant in reflecting the monkey's pleasure, as the human equivalent is a neurological area associated with triggering delight in a baby when it sees the smile of its mother."

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103 comments

and... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603308)

...they like stealing them, too. Oh, you mean actual monkeys.

Re:and... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603808)

They said "rhesus" monkeys, not "porch" monkeys.

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32604862)

Uh....why was this modded down? Nimp chimpanzees [nimp.org] are well-known for stealing any objects that "flash," mainly being shiny metals (e.g. gold) out in the wild or in the cases of civilization, things that blink like electronics. They may not understand what these devices do, but they are fairly evolved for what they are.

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (1)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604898)

Strange...I thought the Monkees not only knew how to watch television but actually had their own television program. Shows what I know.

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32605416)

It was modded down because he used the word 'monkeys' when he obviously should have used 'apes.'

And right now (5, Funny)

dread (3500) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603346)

Hundreds of millions of monkeys are watching other monkeys chasing a ball on TV. And deriving pleasure from it presumably.

Re:And right now (1)

nigelo (30096) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603444)

And deriving pleasure from it presumably.

Whatever toots your horn...

And in other news... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604268)

...top US TV shows are:

American Idol

Dancing with the Stars

[name your reality show here]

Looks like we're all monkeys here....but sadly, it appears the 'furrier' of the tv watching monkeys at least watch something entertaining.

Re:And in other news... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32608450)

Speak for yourself. :P
I dont watch trashy reality tv series.

Re:And right now (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603698)

In our local zoo the chimps have a TV with Teletubbies on it....seriously.

Re:And right now (4, Funny)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604170)

Surely the monkey demographic explains the success of Reality TV. Perhaps it seems like science fiction to its biggest audience?

Re:And right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32607864)

Funny how they keep insisting they don't come from monkeys.

Re:And right now (3, Informative)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604706)

That's not surprisingly in the least since Chimps have been shown to like action movies and even porn. Chimps can become physically agitated when watching action movies or even scary movies. They seemingly even understand suspense, which seems to validate a higher level of intelligence. Like humans, chimps react to stimuli such as anger, violence, kindness, and sexuality. In each case, they have shown a propensity for enjoying the content of what is they watch; just as humans do.

anger, violence, kindness, and sexuality (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#32605586)

I wonder if they picked up the underlying homoerotic messages in Teletubbies?

Re:And right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32604736)

That's only interesting if the monkeys are controlling the channel. If the zookeeper is setting it to Teletubbies because that's what he thinks they like, then it probably doesn't mean a whole lot.

Re:And right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32608400)

and some have Fox news, a big hit with the tea bagging monkeys

Re:And right now (2, Informative)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 3 years ago | (#32610912)

The gorilla at Longleat Safari Park has a big plasma/LCD screen with satellite and has to be actively discouraged from using it too much - he has the controller to use, too, I seem to recall.

Can't remember what we were told was his favourite show, though

Re:And right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603754)

Hundreds of millions of monkeys are watching other monkeys chasing a ball on TV. And deriving pleasure from it presumably.

Yes, chasing a ball and watching a ball be chased. That's the extent of it.

Re:And right now (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603770)

You forgot the vuvuzelas.... no monkey would go to a ball chasing event without one.

Now try Monkey Pron... (1)

kimgkimg (957949) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603940)

Using the circus videos as a control, now give them a channel changer and put pron on the other channel...

Re:And right now (1)

tonywong (96839) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604462)

While there's a lot of humour to be found in this article, there can be some benefit as well. While I couldn't help but laugh when I read the article, producing videos and having them broadcast to zoo animals (not debating the ethics of keeping zoo animals, except that they are there) may help stimulate them (for short periods) even though they are in relatively cramped quarters.

Re:And right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32608890)

I thought the NBA season was over?

Well duh. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603380)

Have you seen what's on TV these days?

Re:Well duh. (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604078)

> Have you seen what's on TV these days?

No, but from the reports it appears that it's what has always been there.

Flypoop and dust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32608096)

I am lazy...

RACIST! (-1, Flamebait)

drsmack1 (698392) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603414)

This is the most racist thing I have ever seen! After all, I see plenty of Honking Geese watching TV too!

Next they will be saying that Frogs love croissants or that Cougars prey on the young!

Re:RACIST! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603580)

Your attempt at humor needs work. A lot of work.

Re:RACIST! (-1, Troll)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603800)

Your attempt at humor needs work. A lot of work.

I bet they did the study by providing the monkey's in the city's jail with TVs. How about that for racism?

Seriously, who cares? (-1, Troll)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603484)

What is the scientific impact of studyng whether or not an animal is distracted/amused by animated images? Seriously, give me one reason, that isn't a joke, why anyone would need to know this.

Re:Seriously, who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603696)

so we can make them watch Congo next, and determine that violent TV makes monkeys violent too

Re:Seriously, who cares? (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603892)

A) To find and parallels between the physiological make-up of monkeys and humans.
B) To better understand Monkey behavior.

Not everything studied needs an immediate reason. sometimes the knowledge is it's own reward, and very often other people come along look at that data and then find a practicable use for it. Much of what Einstein did was worthless at the time. His work on the concepts that you could stimulate electromagnetic emission. It wasn't until much later that the LASER was actually built.

Until studied whether or not they would read to television was only speculation.

Re:Seriously, who cares? (1)

LeadSongDog (1120683) | more than 2 years ago | (#32605106)

Einstein's Nobel was for his work on the photoelectric effect. As in "solar cells". That whole relativity thing was kind of interesting though, and it did get us to fission power. So one way or the other your monkeys can actually turn their plasma TV sets on to watch themselves without burning down their jungle.

wiu+wo+eo~1329pidw+o (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603500)

oijdw+oidwsa' 312 32u09932 329u+0 jfew +dsah

Re:wiu+wo+eo~1329pidw+o (1)

gerddie (173963) | more than 2 years ago | (#32605216)

To whoever modded this Offtopic: wooooossssssh.

Re:wiu+wo+eo~1329pidw+o (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 2 years ago | (#32606012)

I didn't mod this offtopic, but you're right with the whole "wooooooossssssh" thing. What's he trying to say?

Re:wiu+wo+eo~1329pidw+o (1)

gerddie (173963) | more than 2 years ago | (#32608324)

I think AC is a monkey who tries to express that he prefers posting on /. over watching TV.

Extend the research? (2, Interesting)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603538)

Knowing our similarities to other primate species, I think they should direct and film some "TV drama" type performance of monkeys -- basically, a TV show that uses monkeys doing the kinds of social interaction monkeys do. Then, see if the monkeys are just as interested in watching other monkeys handle situations, as we are in watching humans.

Also, see if they're able to distinguish TV from reality, and if they start feeling strongly about the characters.

Of course, it could be difficult to get the monkey "actors" to cooperate.

Re:Extend the research? (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603884)

Of course, it could be difficult to get the monkey "actors" to cooperate.

Cattle prods should work, at least until the Monkey Actor's Guild comes into existence.

Lance Link, Secret Chimp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32608236)

been there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmTmvBzNFY4

bonus: captcha - SCREENS

Re:Extend the research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32609774)

Bananas?

Well duh! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603562)

I bet they mostly prefer Basketball, BET and UPN.

off my lawn, etc (2, Informative)

Eil (82413) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603668)

According to a Japanese study, monkeys are not immune to the siren call of the idiot box

That's "siren song," you illiterate clod.

Re:off my lawn, etc (1)

DarkTempes (822722) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604390)

And what does a siren's song do, hmm?

Re:off my lawn, etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32605350)

the siren's message

the siren's invitation

the siren's beckoning

the siren's sweet offerings

nope.

siren's call

that's the one.

anything else is for schmucks.

Re:off my lawn, etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32605540)

Read some Homer. D'oh.

Re:off my lawn, etc (1)

stimpleton (732392) | more than 3 years ago | (#32608792)

Interesting intepretation, as "siren song" suggests a quite lull towards the "idiot Box". Whereas, when I read "siren call" I envisaged a clambering to arms(in front of the idiot box). I lived in a rural area and was a volunteer firefighter. So the station siren meant the later for those on call..

If an infinite number of monkeys (2, Funny)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603778)

film everything they see, will one of them eventually create "Planet of the Apes"?

Just asking...

Re:If an infinite number of monkeys (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603906)

If an infinite number of monkeys film everything they see, will one of them eventually create "Planet of the Apes"?

Nope, but give a couple dozen monkeys a few weeks and you'll get a pretty good equivalent of an Uwe Boll movie ;)

Re:If an infinite number of monkeys (2, Funny)

Samah (729132) | more than 2 years ago | (#32608084)

film everything they see, will one of them eventually create "Planet of the Apes"?

I'd have thought something more along the lines of "Planet of the Humans". :)

Shall we expand on this a bit? (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603840)

Strap a monkey to a board, stick some electrodes in its brain, then measure how happy it is. Show it some moving images, which distract it from the fact that it's strapped to a board with electrodes stuck in its brain. It gets less unhappy. NOBEL PRIZE!

Coming up on the Monkey Television Network (1)

CaptDeuce (84529) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603868)

  • Demolition derby
  • Pong
  • Men's tennis
  • Women's tennis (monkey focus groups indicate that male monkeys maintain a narrower focus)
  • Mythbusters
  • Baywatch (increased focus of male monkeys also noted)

In followup studies, human males show almost identical focus intensities. Unexpectedly, focus was most highly concentrated for episodes of Mythbusters -- even when Kari Byron was on hiatus.

Re:Coming up on the Monkey Television Network (2, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604974)

There was a short lived TV show on TBS featuring chimps running a TV network. It was appropriately named The Chimp Channel [wikipedia.org] and was actually pretty good if you like that kind of thing.

I get it now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603896)

Well, that explains American Idol. . .

Of course they do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603910)

Image you were locked in a cage. Now image that your wife is a hairy beast, your children don't listen to a word you say, and your best friend is fond of masturbating in public and flinging his own waste at strangers. What else are you going to do with your time?

Re:Of course they do (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 2 years ago | (#32606384)

Image you were locked in a cage. Now image that your wife is a hairy beast, your children don't listen to a word you say, and your best friend is fond of masturbating in public and flinging his own waste at strangers. What else are you going to do with your time?

Oh, I dunno. I'd probably pick some nits from my wife's fur, bare my teeth at the kids some, maybe masturbate, and then fling some poo (not necessarily in that order).

Watching TV is way, way down on my list -- at approximately the same level as swinging into a bunch of fellows in the gorilla enclosure and taunting them.

what's next (0, Troll)

pastafazou (648001) | more than 2 years ago | (#32603944)

a study that shows monkeys are easily addicted to caffeine and nicotine? Or alcohol gets monkeys drunk?

TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32603992)

Personally, I think the next step is posting AC comments here on /.

Who am I kidding, even a monkey would register to get free karma while posting any BS.

Hey, wait a min... Oh, no! What have they done!?!

Wow, more evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32604056)

that humans evolved from monkeys!

Re:Wow, more evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32604180)

You evolved from us Apes, you insensitive clod!

George Bush (0, Flamebait)

Ponder Stibions (962426) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604250)

We already knew this due to the behavior of the former US President, George W Bush.

Re:Barrack Obama (0, Flamebait)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604366)

"We already knew this due to the behavior of the former US President, George W Bush."

Yep, and this behavior is being displayed in droves once again by current US President Barrack H Obama.

Re:Barrack Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32604512)

"We already knew this due to the behavior of the former US President, George W Bush."

Yep, and this behavior is being displayed in droves once again by current US President Barrack H Obama.

Wow, I knew you Tom Friedman-esque "democrats too!" balance fetishists were dumb, but "displayed in droves?"

  Do you even know what a drove is?

Re:Barrack Obama (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604912)

" Do you even know what a drove is?"

I believe it do...I was using it as commonly used as meaning "in large numbers", "seeing many examples of like behaviors".

From the Free Dictionary I found online:

drove 2 (drv)

n.

1. A flock or herd being driven in a body.

2.

a. A large mass of people moving or acting as a body.

b. A large body of like things. See Synonyms at flock1.

3.

a. A stonemason's broad-edged chisel used for rough hewing.

b. A stone surface dressed with such a chisel.

I guess according to this definition, I was going more for 2b.

Re:Barrack Obama (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 2 years ago | (#32605236)

Gee, that's an awful wordy way to put it. You could have just said "Lemmings". ;)

Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32604292)

It only stands to reason, as most of the TV programming is done by monkeys...

Every parent already knows this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32604496)

Just sayin'

FOX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32604676)

Somebody has to watch FOX news and be entertained, don't they? I mean - it's monkeys doing the show anyways.

Study Shows Monkeys Like Watching TV (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32604770)

That's why BET exists.

Re:Study Shows Monkeys Like Watching TV (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604942)

Did you know that attacking other social groups is usually a product of low self-esteem?

If at some point you develop a sense of valuing yourself, you retain your critical knowledge of other races and cultures but stop needing to attack them.

Re:Study Shows Monkeys Like Watching TV (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 2 years ago | (#32605328)

Interestingly, these notions about "self esteem" had never been studied; they'd just been *assumed*, based on the notion that everyone likes to feel good about themselves. Recently some psych researchers took a notion to rectify this sad lack of actual documentation, and...

Contrary to common assumption, they discovered that the highest self-esteem was found in career criminals, who essentially believe they are better than everyone else, and therefore they believe they can do no wrong. (IOW, people who make a career of attacking other social groups, namely those who work for a living or are otherwise "beneath" them.)

(No, I am not making this up.)

Re:Study Shows Monkeys Like Watching TV (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | more than 2 years ago | (#32607804)

Intriguing. Thank you for the information, I'll see if I can dig up the actual studies.

I wouldn't call the distinction here "social groups", though. I imagine the particular persons you're referring to are more simply sociopathic.

For more information on "groupism", see Muzafer Sherif's work in the Robbers Cave experiment.

Re:Study Shows Monkeys Like Watching TV (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 2 years ago | (#32608002)

Well, it may be that unlimited self-esteem is a facet of that particular sociopathy :)

I heard about the study from a friend's wife who is shrink, but keep forgetting to ask for details.

But even the monkeys... (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 2 years ago | (#32604774)

If we let them watch Uwe Boll movies on their TVs, I bet even the Monkeys will agree that they suck.

Sensory deprivation (1)

snooz_crash (802357) | more than 2 years ago | (#32605204)

So take an animal, sequestered for experimentation, and give it a modicum of stimuli and see if it likes it? I tell you what, release the monkey, put a TV into the wild and see if free monkeys will stop and watch.

...and take the dang headphones off.

monkey brains shown to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#32605512)

Scientists stick electrodes in to the heads of monkeys to prove that they contain brains, and said brains react to stimulus.

We don't like that word (1)

jprupp (697660) | more than 2 years ago | (#32607688)

Please don't call us monkeys, we're chimpanzees. It's the gorillas who will destroy the world.

High Ratings... (1)

tazer (12366) | more than 2 years ago | (#32607928)

Well at least that finally explains the high ratings on some shows (ie. American Idol). :-)

Re:High Ratings... (1)

tazer (12366) | more than 2 years ago | (#32608180)

Ooops...My monkey posted that comment before reading the same comment above. Bad monkey! Bad monkey!

In a corollary study ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32609646)

... scientists have found that monkeys like cracking a cold beer, kicking back on a couch, and watching videos of female monkeys not wearing any clothes.

This monkey's gone to Fox (1)

vorlich (972710) | more than 3 years ago | (#32610426)

Were the monkeys given the remote control and what did they think of the SGU season finale?

Wrong (1)

caranha (680518) | more than 3 years ago | (#32610538)

The linked article does not actually refers to the Scientific article (why not?), so I went and did some digging.

http://frontiersin.org/neuroscience/behavioralneuroscience/paper/10.3389/fnbeh.2010.00031/ [frontiersin.org]

Nothing like "monkeys like to watch TV". The experiment only measure the activity of the monkey's brain when it is watching the movie, but not when it is NOT watching the movie or when it is watching something else. Actually the paper is more about this new brain wave sensor that they are developing than about monkeys and TVs. Like a previous commenter said - if you have a monkey stuck into a chair, with a bunch of probes dug into its brain, in a dark room, it will get interested in a movie shown in front of him. Duh! (and, according to the article, at least 60% of the trials where thrown away because the monkey did not actually look at the movie).

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