Monkeys Have Regrets Too - NBC Connecticut

Monkeys Have Regrets Too

Rock, paper, scissors helped scientists study the monkeys' brains.



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    Yale study finds monkeys have regrets just like humans.

    Many of us have regrets, and a new study from Yale University finds we’re not the only ones who wonder what might have been. 

    Monkeys also wonder how different actions would have led to different outcomes.

    The study published in the journal Neuron, says the primates can be Monday morning quarterbacks and visualize alternative, hypothetical outcomes,
    So how did scientists determine the monkeys had regrets?  They recorded neuronal activity in the monkeys' brains while playing a simple game like Rock, paper scissors.
    According to researchers, two things quickly became evident. First, the monkeys were aware not just of when they went wrong, but also how.
    Second, if a monkey lost a game -  by, for example picking paper when the winning move would have been rock - then it became much more likely to choose the previous winning object in the next round.
    The findings pinpoint areas of the brain where this process takes place and may give scientists new clues into how to treat diseases such as depression and schizophrenia, according to Yale.