Elderly people and chimpanzees choose their friends in a similar way.

There is an opinion that older people choose their friends more carefully, because they want to spend the rest

time with maximum benefit. Chimpanzees are intelligent primates, but they are not aware of the finiteness of life. Most likely, some other processes are taking place in their minds that explain why, in old age, their relations with others become more positive.

Richard Wrangham, one of the study authors, professor at Harvard University in the USA

Although there is evidence that some animalsstill understand the finiteness of life. However, it is unlikely that they have the same impending sense of mortality that humans experience. Thus, the results of the study suggest that a different, deeper mechanism is at work here.

Scientists have observed how primatescommunicate with each other, in what relationship they are and how their social habits change with age. The monkeys studied included both relatively young individuals, 15 years old, and elderly chimpanzees, who have lived for over 40 years.

It turned out that older individuals communicate with theirpeers are different than young people. The young people had a fairly wide social circle, they also looked after their relatives, expecting nothing in return. On the other hand, the elderly individuals had much fewer friends, but maintained warmer relations with them.

According to Wrangham and his colleagues, in this regardchimpanzees are virtually indistinguishable from humans. People with age also choose their friends more carefully, and also prefer to behave with them as positively as possible. So far, scientists cannot say for sure whether this feature of the psychology of humans and chimpanzees has a common neurophysiological and genetic connection.

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