That challenges the belief of many people, including many scientists, that "humans are superior to chimpanzees in all cognitive functions," said researcher Tetsuro Matsuzawa of Kyoto University.
"No one can imagine that chimpanzees - young chimpanzees at the age of 5 - have a better performance in a memory task than humans," he said in a statement.
Matsuzawa, a pioneer in studying the mental abilities of chimps, said even he was surprised. He and colleague Sana Inoue report the results in Tuesday's issue of the journal Current Biology.
Researchers believe that relative youth helped the chimpanzees, so the next step is to match the chimps against young children. http://news.wired.com/dynamic/stories/C/CHIMP_MEMORY?SITE=WIRE&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2007-12-03-12-