The Cognitive Tradeoff Hypothesis

  • Published on:  Wednesday, December 5, 2018
  • Humans are the only Earthlings with complex language. But at what cost was that ability acquired? In this episode, I visit Tetsuro Matsuzawa to learn about his influential cognitive tradeoff hypothesis.

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  • James Di

    James Di

     an hour ago

    22:09 When I stub my toe

  • KhalanThomas



    this is soo dope

  • KhalanThomas



    I NEVER COMMENT ON VIDEOS - VSAUCE ! You are a legend ! Mad Respeect !!!!

  • Gesù Cristo

    Gesù Cristo


    He's like the English version of Alberto Angela

  • Hasulfer84



    Michael comes in (untrained) and beats one of his top players of the memory game in first attempt. Meanwhile the scientist speaks about how humans lost that capability in evolution to speech.

  • Kemal Farezy

    Kemal Farezy

     2 days ago

    Theory of evolution 😂 but this is pretty entertaining.

  • Kemal Farezy

    Kemal Farezy

     2 days ago

    KOBAAAA !!!!

  • Dr. NAJEEB Alrefae

    Dr. NAJEEB Alrefae

     2 days ago

    You may need Peace of mind or Happiness or Joy or not . Try repeating this word slowly while your eyes are closed take deep breath and say :ALLAH........ALLAH
    or you may want to listen to my voice reading QURAN less than a minute!!

    please give your reaction wishing you all the best and peace

  • Claude Clement

    Claude Clement

     2 days ago +1

    I don’t actually believe this hypothesis because all the chimpanzees do is play that game if humans had that kind of practice they would most definitely be able to play the game as well as the chimps

  • Philip Turner

    Philip Turner

     2 days ago I know why humans are so stupid and believe in the global warming hoax.....

  • gaming with utkarsh

    gaming with utkarsh

     3 days ago

    12:29 well technically u are

  • Summer N

    Summer N

     3 days ago +1

    I was able to memorize the numbers. That’s like my one talent is being able to take a glance at a long list of numbers and repeat them back in order. Instead of focusing on each number I can focus on the image as a whole and just recall the image in my head. I wonder if it would have anything to do with going through trauma and developing ptsd. Because we can see those images again and again I wonder if it effects other things like our memory, I’d love to see this test done on people with ptsd. Thank you for the great content as always Michael. This is my favorite show by far. All your concepts are so fascinating

  • Libra


     4 days ago

    I remember my psychology teacher telling us that Asians were better with numbers bc they had shorter faster words it doesn’t take as long as it does for English speakers to say and register those numbers in their head

  • Astral'o Pithecus

    Astral'o Pithecus

     4 days ago

    I think you missed to mention a very important and interesting theory. There's such a huge evolutionary gap between apes and us, that many scientists have theorized there must be some external, artificial trigger that helped us get here, or even turned us instantly into such an intelligent (and destructive) being. ETs could be behind our evolution, or even hybridisation. Let's take into account the mysteries surrounding the pyramids and Easter Island statues, and alien intervention seems to make a lot more sense.

    An alternative theory states that psychedelic substances found in Marijuana, Psilocybin Mushrooms, Mescaline Cacti, and DMT plants might have played a very big role in our evolution, and if this is the case, I'm certain these plants were brought here by extraterrestrials. Read about the "Stoned Ape Theory" by Terrence McKenna.

  • John Sweeney

    John Sweeney

     4 days ago

    It’s great to see his research involves love and interaction rather than poking them with needles and chemicals/ cruelty 👍

  • John Sweeney

    John Sweeney

     4 days ago

    My late uncle used to say. The only reason the monkey didn’t speak is because man would have put a shovel in his hands.

  • Alexeï Drutskoy

    Alexeï Drutskoy

     4 days ago +2

    Actually, when you test humans that have had the opportunity to train like the chimps have, you find that the humans end up outperforming the chimps. See Cook and Wilson, 2010. ("Do young chimpanzees have extraordinary working memory?")

    So there goes the cognitive tradeoff hypothesis.

    And thus science moves forward. Pease upvote so that people don't get too excited about a theory disproven 10 years ago.

  • The Siq

    The Siq

     4 days ago

    Hey micheal, I think something that may effect us compared to primates is sight. We can glare at one thing in a room and we cant 100 percent see everything else like if we read a book we have to look at each word and we cant always guess the next word or the one next to it or the one above it untill we skim or glance at it.

  • Quack


     4 days ago +1

    I'd like to see the effects on the human brain if they did it daily for a year

  • Agile J

    Agile J

     4 days ago

    imagine believing we came from monkey and apes or even the 'common ancestor' HA HA what a joke. You wont catch me falling for that nonsense.