Like humans, monkeys too are eager to gain new information even if there are no immediate benefits, says a new research. Study authors say that both humans and monkeys share a common part of the brain essential for decision-making.
Researchers from the University of Rochester and Columbia University found that monkeys were willing to invest a large portion of prize in order to quickly find the winning option in the game.
“When it’s simply a choice between getting the information earlier or not, the monkeys show a pretty strong preference for getting it earlier,” said lead researcher Tommy Blanchard, a PhD candidate in the lab of Benjamin Hayden, co-senior author of the study and professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester.
For the research, scientists presented monkeys with a gambling video in which prize could be in the form of water. Video had three columns; researchers found that monkeys showed more interest in selecting the column when the stakes were high. Monkeys were willing to play the gamble when the winnings were up to 25 percent less than the gamble required to wait for the results. It was found in the study that monkeys continually selected the gamble that came up with a winner right away, suggesting monkeys are curious for information.
According to researchers, like humans, monkeys too were curious and willing to gain extra information and pay even if there were no immediate benefits. Curiousness in humans and monkeys might be due to they share similar part in the brain responsible for decision-making. Researchers selected gambling experiment as it involves two things, prize to be won and the value of finding out. Thus, the experiment done was one the best example of the decision-making.
The finding gives a new insight and better understanding towards how information seeking is processed in the brain.