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Monkey Ladder

Monkey ladder assesses visuospatial working memory, which is the ability to not only hold information in memory, but manipulate or update it based on changing circumstances. Monkey Ladder requires storing numbers and their locations, then translating that memory into a series of movements in space.

How to take the Monkey Ladder Test

Boxes appear at different locations on the screen, each containing a number. Your patient must try to remember which numbers appear in which box. After a short time, the numbers disappear, and the patient clicks on the boxes in numerical sequence. Difficulty adjusts to the patient’s performance, and performance is indicated by the average number of boxes correctly remembered.


The history of Monkey Ladder

As the name suggests, Monkey Ladder has a history with primates. Chimps are able to take this task, and while some are better at it than others, many are able to consistently outperform university students.


Monkey Ladder in the real world

Viewing a situation, planning a sequence of moves, then executing them from memory, is essential in many everyday tasks. It would be especially useful when planning a sequence of branches to grab while swinging through trees—maybe that's why apes are so good at it! You can view a video of Ayuma the chimp doing very well at Monkey Ladder here.

Speak to us about using Monkey Ladder in your practice or study