CGIIdeas/Commentary

Even Monkeys Hate Robert Zemeckis

Christmas Carol

An article in National Geographic discusses the results of an “uncanny valley” test on monkeys. Researchers showed monkeys three versions of a monkey on a monitor–one video of a real monkey; one stylized CG model; and one realistic “uncanny valley” animated face. Guess what happened? The research suggests that “given the choice, monkeys prefer to look anywhere other than at a realistic fake monkey.”

The monkeys looked more often, and longer, at the real deal and the unrealistic fake, study co-author Asif Ghazanfar said. “This is anecdotal, but they seemed to even avert their gaze from the realistic fake face, like they didn’t want to look at it,” said Ghazanfar, a Princeton psychology professor.

The article goes on to say:

The discovery may be important, for a couple of reasons. First, Ghazanfar said, it provides evidence supporting the theory that the uncanny valley is not a result of cultural preferences–it’s hardwired into our heads.

(Thanks, Arthur Metcalf)

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