About Prof. Tetsuro Matsuzawa



Last week I went to attend the last lecture of Prof. Matsuzawa, who is President of International Primatological Society, in Kyoto Univ. It’s wonderful lecture and above all I enjoyed his amazing studies with Ai, a female chimpanzee.

たとえば、アイちゃんは日本語や色、数字などいろいろと理解しているのですが、それではどれくらい理解しているのか、stroop effectを試してみると…

For example, Ai can understand many Japanese letters, like the names of colors and Arabic numerals. Well, can she understand color-letter correspondence?

ちなみに、このstroop effectというのは、意味と異なる色の文字を読むとき、意味を知っている人(この場合は漢字の意味を理解している人)には意味を知らない人よりも読むのが難しくなります…

Have a look at this chart for the experiment of stroop effect. Can you read these letters quickly? (the letters of first line from left: red-green-yellow-blue)


Stroop effect is:
when you try to name the color in which color words are printed, it takes longer when the color word differs from the ink color than when the color word is the same as the ink color.


Result: It is also more difficult and slower for Ai to point out the names of colors. It means she understands color-letter correspondence. 🙂

Prof. Matsuzawa and Ai are great explorers of unknown world!






7 thoughts on “About Prof. Tetsuro Matsuzawa

  1. That’s really interesting I liked this old photo of Prof. Tetsuro Matsuzawa with Ai and the baby as it summaries a lot of what could be said .In one of his articles on Kyoto university site he introduced Ai as
    ” My research partner here is named “Ai”, a 30-year-old female chimpanzee.” In this article he said that he has a dream to see human and chimpanzee living together and be cousin .
    I liked the simplicity he use to convey his research’s results …
    Pro. Tetsuro made a great job that’s required years of study and research to reach the truth that he believed in … If you see him again please give my regards to him 🙂


  2. OK, Ghaythaa, you remember:
    ①Humans belong to the order Primates(霊長類) and to the family Hominidae(ヒト科).
    ②The hominid family consists of four genera(4属)―humans, chimpanzees(and bonobos), gorillas, and orangutans.
    ③98.8% of the genome(ゲノム) is the same in humans and chimpanzees.
    ④Ai and I are great mothers. Happy Mother’s Day in Syria! 😉


  3. To be honest I would like to see human and human living together before living with chimpanzee.
    I like the combination between the Japanese and syrian cultures, and I think this combination should be implemented world wide.
    God bless both of you for the useful website.

    All the best


    • Thanks Hareth for your wishes , we hope to meet the expectation of IF readers and to participate ( even slightly ) in making this world better for both human beings and their partners on the planet .


  4. Hareth, thank you for your heart-warming words!
    Prof. Matsuzawa’s study is called Comparative cognitive science. Compared minds of humans with those of chimpanzees, he studies the evolutionary history of the human mind.

    He says chimpanzees live in the world of the “here and now,” but we can think about the past, even before humans birth, and we can also think of the future: so this imaginative powers make us anxious about the future but give us hope. This hope is unique to human nature.
    (I love the last sentence.)
    Ghaythaa and I believe in our imaginative powers. So we hope this site will bear fruit… 🙂 🙂
    Hareth, thanks again for visiting IF!


  5. Hello my IF friends. I know that it’s an old topic but I want to share sth with you. Recently I’ve discovered that last year was a lecture Prof. Tetsuro Matsuzawa in my city. It was during the Copernicus Festival of Science. Let imagine what I’m must be angry that I didn’t know about it earlier…. Fortunatelly there’s a recording from this lecture. Here’s a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YpwF5UXBNU The lecture starts from 3:08 min…


    • Wow, Slawek, Thank you so much for your information! Yes, it’s his lecture for his school visit program. You can hear his chimpanzees greeting from 11:18, haha. Actually every chimpanzees including Ai call back to him.


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