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Tuesday, 6th December 2011
In General Japan News,

People and chimps pitch similar colours

It may be no surprise to learn that humans and chimpanzees share another trait as researchers revealed both associate specific sound pitches with either light or dark colours.

A study conducted by Kyoto University’s Prime Research Institute and Charite Unversitatsmedizin Berlin, showed both species align dark colours with low pitches and light colours with high pitches, the Mainichi Daily reported.

One merely needs to examine the world’s languages to uncover the trend in humans as the Spanish phrase “white voice” is used to describe a high-pitched tone.

Similarly, in German the term “dark voice” is used to portray low-pitched voices.

Some possible explanations suggest the association is ingrained in us from birth, while others stipulate it is the result of the influence on culture and language on each other.

When identifying the same behaviour in the chimps, scientists taught the animals to identify black and white before putting them into a room with an audio.

The animals were told to choose either shade, however, either a low or high-pitched noise was play while they tried to make their decision.

In instances where the typical association was compromised, for eample they were told to choose a black figure while a high-pitched noise was played, the mistake rate was increased.

In much the same way, 33 humans involved in tests had to choose between black and white as they were played the sounds.

Although no mistakes were made, it was shown their response time was slower when the sound did not correspond to the ‘right’ colour.

Kyoto University’s Primate Research Institute spokesman Ikuma Adachi said: “The connections between certain sounds and certain world phenomena may have been an early step toward the birth of language,” the news provider quoted.

The Mainichi Daily also reported today (December 6th) that a team at the University of Tokyo’s Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology may have grown closer to finding a cure for cancer.

The researchers identified an enzyme that can stifle the growth rate of cancer cells, making the prospect for better treatment more likely.

Posted by Susan Ballion  

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