Young chimps beat human adults on in one memory contest, Japanese researchers found.

In a test measuring the ability to remember numerals, chimpanzee memory showed that the chimps in a test have an an extraordinary working memory capability for numerical recollection — better than that of human adults tested in the same apparatus, following the same procedure, according to Tetsuro matsuzawa, director of the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University in Japan, the Associated Press reports.

For the test, a screen was shown with four to nine numerals scattered across a touch screen. After the numbers disappear, blank boxes show up where the numerals had been. It is up to participants to remember and touch the areas that were blanked out in ascending order from lowest to highest.

The performance of chimps in the study did not degrade even when the numerals were shown for a shorter amount of time, in contrast to the performance of humans. Young chimps performed better than their mothers or humans, the report said.

Matsuzawa said that the chimps' memory resembled humans' photographic memory, also known as eidedtic imagery.

A study on the issue will be published tomorrow in Current Biology.