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Baboons Can Think Abstractly, In The First Study To Show That A Non-Human, Non-Ape Animal Shares A Central Aspect Of Human Intelligence

Date:
October 15, 2001
Source:
American Psychological Association
Summary:
More non-human animals may be capable of abstract thought than previously known, with profound implications for the evolution of human intelligence and the stuff that separates homo sapiens from other animals. A trans-Atlantic team of psychologists has found evidence of abstract thought in baboons, significant because baboons are "old world monkeys," part of a different primate "super family" that -- some 30 million years ago -- split from the family that gave rise to apes and then humans.

WASHINGTON — More non-human animals may be capable of abstract thought than previously known, with profound implications for the evolution of human intelligence and the stuff that separates homo sapiens from other animals. A trans-Atlantic team of psychologists has found evidence of abstract thought in baboons, significant because baboons are "old world monkeys," part of a different primate "super family" that -- some 30 million years ago -- split from the family that gave rise to apes and then humans. Chimpanzees, in the ape family, already have demonstrated abstract thought. Now, two trained baboons successfully determined that two differently detailed displays were fundamentally the same in their overall design. Figuring this out required analogical (this is to this as that is to that) reasoning, which many theorists view as the foundation of human reasoning and intelligence.


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American Psychological Association. "Baboons Can Think Abstractly, In The First Study To Show That A Non-Human, Non-Ape Animal Shares A Central Aspect Of Human Intelligence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011015055219.htm>.
American Psychological Association. (2001, October 15). Baboons Can Think Abstractly, In The First Study To Show That A Non-Human, Non-Ape Animal Shares A Central Aspect Of Human Intelligence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011015055219.htm
American Psychological Association. "Baboons Can Think Abstractly, In The First Study To Show That A Non-Human, Non-Ape Animal Shares A Central Aspect Of Human Intelligence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/10/011015055219.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

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