Via the Guardian, powerful mental abilities we ironically have lost through evolution:
In a landmark test of short-term memory conducted in public in 2007, the young chimp Ayumu demonstrated astonishing powers of recall, easily beating his human competitors, who had been in training for months.
“We’ve concluded through the cognitive tests that chimps have extraordinary memories,” Matsuzawa says. “They can grasp things at a glance. As a human, you will never be a match.”
Why do the latter have such vastly superior working memories? As humans evolved and acquired new skills – notably the ability to use language to communicate and collaborate –they lost others they once shared with their common simian ancestors.
The institute’s researchers are trying to find how far Ayumu can go before he falters. In the most recent tests, the number of digits [shown for a split second] has been increased from 1-9 to 1-19.