Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Music | News | Sports | Technology | World|Breaking news, shows, podcasts,Entertainment,events....

BSC honours Rwanda’s heroes,...

As Rwanda marks Heroes’ Day on Thursday, February 1, BSC takes pride in...

Top 10 richest people...

Business Insider Africa, a pan-African innovative business news provider, has presented – courtesy...

South Africa to lead...

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Monusco,...

RDF, Pakistan armed forces...

The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Mubarakh Muganga was...
HomeREGIONALHumans and wild...

Humans and wild apes share common sign language

Humans and wild apes share common sign language

Humans share common sign language with other apes, understanding many of the gestures wild chimps and bonobos use to communicate with one another.

That is the conclusion of a video-based study in which volunteers translated ape gestures.

It was carried out by researchers at St Andrews University.

It suggests the last common ancestor we shared with chimps used similar gestures, and that these may have been a “starting point” for our language.

The findings are published in the scientific journal PLOS Biology.

Lead researcher, Dr Kirsty Graham from St Andrews University explained: “We know that all the great apes – chimps and bonobos – have an overlap of about 95% of the gestures they use to communicate.

“So we already had a suspicion that this was a shared gesturing ability that might have been present in our last shared ancestor. But we’re quite confident now that our ancestors would have started off gesturing, and that this was co-opted into language.”

This study was part of an ongoing scientific mission to understand this language origin story by carefully studying communication in our closest ape cousins.

Chimpanzee communication signals
Humans and wild apes share common sign language

This team of researchers has spent many years observing wild chimpanzees. They previously discovered that the great apes use a whole “lexicon” of more than 80 gestures, each conveying a message to another member of their group.

Messages like “groom me” are communicated with a long scratching motion; a mouth stroke means “give me that food” and tearing strips from a leaf with teeth is a chimpanzee gesture of flirtation.

Translating apes

Scientists used video playback experiments, because the approach has traditionally been used to test language comprehension in non-human primates. In this study, they turned the approach on its head to assess humans’ abilities to understand the gestures of their closest living ape relatives.

Volunteers watched videos of the chimps and bonobos gesturing, then selected from a multiple choice list of translations.

The participants performed significantly better than expected by chance, correctly interpreting the meaning of chimpanzee and bonobo gestures over 50% of the time.

“We were really surprised by the results,” said Dr Catherine Hobaiter from St Andrews University. “It turns out we can all do it almost instinctively, which is both fascinating from an evolution of communication perspective and really quite annoying as a scientist who spent years training how to do it,” she joked.

The gestures people can innately understand may form part of what Dr Graham described as “an evolutionarily ancient, shared gesture vocabulary across all great ape species including us”.

Continue reading

ex-world 100m champion dies aged 32

ex-world 100m champion dies aged 32 years old Tori Bowie, an American sprinter who won three Olympic medals, dies. Bowie had "an unfathomable impact on the sport," according to USA Track and Field, who also stated she will be "greatly...

The “ALL FOR RWANDA” coalition unites FDLR and FDU Inkingi

FDLR and FDU INKINGI have united in the "ALL FOR RWANDA" coalition that aims to overthrow the government of Rwanda It is an announcement published on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. This announcement was signed by the President of the FDU...

Putin’s apartment in the Kremlin in the heart of Moscow is allegedly being targeted by drones

President Vladimir Putin's apartment in the Kremlin in the heart of Moscow is allegedly being targeted by drones in an attempt to murder him, by that RUSSIA is accusing UKRAIN after Unverified footage on social media appeared to show...