20th Century Fox has released a new app for the iPhone and iPad that poses the question “Are you smarter than an ape?” The app is based on an actual intelligence test done at Kyoto University, and parallels the central storyline of the new studio’s upcoming film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” in which a scientist’s tampering with the laws of nature leads to the development of superior intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.
The test is as simple as it is revealing: the numbers 1 to 9 appear on the screen in random positions, and then are quickly covered. You must remember their positions, and then touch the squares in numeric order, in order to pass to the next round. A number is added for each round, so after several rounds recreating their proper positions becomes quite a challenge — for humans, that is. Studies show that young chimps outperform adult humans in this memory test. “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.”
To play the app, you must first select one of three skill levels — “Easy,” “Hard” or “Ape” — which determine how long the numbers are displayed. The most difficult level, “Ape,” mimics the speed a typical primate can accomplish the task.
In addition to the game, the app offers access to the latest content about “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” including the theatrical trailer, movie tickets (when available) and the “Apes Will Rise” YouTube channel. You can also learn more about the history of the tests that measured apes’ surprising intelligence.
The app is available for free download on iTunes beginning today. For more information about the app, visit www.apeswillrise.com/app/.
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” — starring James Franco, Freida Pinto, Andy Serkis, Brian Cox, John Lithgow, Rupert Wyatt, Tom Felton and Tyler Labine — is in theaters everywhere starting Aug. 5.
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