As part of the promotion for the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Twentieth Century Fox has released a new smartphone app for the upcoming film. There is nothing new in that—film studios release apps all the time as part of the promotion (along with cups, happy meal toys, clothing, tie-in books, crappy video game adaptations, etc., etc.). What makes this one unique is that the app features an IQ test based on an experiment that was created in 2007 at Kyoto University, which tested a group of a dozen humans against three five-year old chimps. And the chimps won. Convincingly.
The test involved memorizing the location of numbers and hitting them in order as quickly as possible after they were covered. The numbers 1-9 were displayed on a screen, and when the participants touched the number 1, the other numbers were covered with white squares. The subjects then needed to remember where the numbers were, and press that corresponding white square sequentially as quickly as possible.
In terms of accuracy the damn dirty apes were about equal to the humans, but the apes were able to complete the exercise faster. In a second test, the best of the apes was pitted against nine college students and a new test began. Five numbers quickly flashed across the screen before each being covered by white squares. The participants then pressed the squares in what they believed was sequential order. Both species had about an 80-percent success rate, but as the test sped up and the numbers were displayed for less time, the ape began to dominate and consistently succeeded in the test while the humans faltered and brought shame to their ancestors. The chimp then took the college students’ lunch money and stole their girlfriends as well.
“We were very surprised to find this,” Tetsuro Matsuzawa of the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University said. “But it’s a very concrete, simple fact. Young chimps are superior to human adults in a memory task.”
Watch the video below to see the test, or jump passed it if you are a human and are a poor sport.
The Rise of the Planet of the Apes app recreates this test on three levels of difficulty: Easy, Hard, and Ape. The Ape speed, the hardest level, recreates the speed of an actual ape. The app also includes info on the movie, YouTube links to trailers and clips, links to purchase tickets to the movie and info. It is available now on iTunes.
The movie stars James Franco, Frieda Pinto, John Lithgow, and Andy Serkis. It is directed by first-time director Rupert Wyatt, and hits theaters on August 5.