Humans spend less time monkeying around as they get older, so do monkeys: Study

Humans spend less time monkeying around as they get older, so do monkeys: Study

As humans gets older they spend less time monkeying around, and as per a study that appeared on Thursday, so do monkeys. If you have ever hung out with a grandparent, or noticed a retiring parent, or grown old yourself, you could be aware of how some people become picked with age.

Some elder people visit the same restaurants on the same days per week, some get cranky around a lot of strangers and rather than moving outside and playing with the grandkids, they watch television silently. We humans and monkeys are distant relatives, separated by 25 million-year-long evolution, but just like us monkeys also become less social with age.

Alexandra Freund, a developmental psychologist at the University of Zurich who was involved in the recently published study in Current Biology, said, “This clearly tells us that we, as humans, are not unique in the way we age socially but that there might be an evolutionary ‘deep’ root in this pattern”. How human behavior changes with age may thus have a few biological origins.

Dr. Freund and Julia Fischer from the German Primate Center in Goettingen, Germany, along with their colleagues wanted to determine the impact of age on the behavior of over 100 Barbary macaque monkeys, leading their life in an enclosed 50-acre park in southern France.

They analyzed the response of the monkeys, from the age group 4 to 29 (which is nearly 105 in human years, as per Dr. Fischer), to physical objects such as novel toys and tubes baited with food; social behaviors like interaction with friends or fighting; and social data such as pictures or calls of ‘friends’ and ‘strangers’.


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