Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cognitive Strategy Shared By Human Infants And Great-ape Kin

Date:
September 10, 2006
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
In a comparative study that investigates ways in which our cognitive skills and characteristics as humans have been shaped by our primate ancestry, researchers report new findings showing that human infants display the same preferences as all other great apes in their strategies for remembering where things are, but that these preferences shift as humans develop.

In a comparative study that investigates ways in which our cognitive skills and characteristics as humans have been shaped by our primate ancestry, researchers report new findings showing that human infants display the same preferences as all other great apes in their strategies for remembering where things are, but that these preferences shift as humans develop.

Related Articles


This change in cognitive preference indicates a uniquely human developmental trajectory when compared to the cognitive development of other great apes, and it informs our general understanding of which aspects of our cognitive development have evolved within the human lineage. The findings are reported by Daniel Haun, Josep Call, Gabriele Janzen, and Stephen Levinson from the Max Planck Institutes for Evolutionary Anthropology and Psycholinguistics and appear in the September 5th issue of Current Biology, published by Cell Press.

Little is known about the inherited primate "background" of skills that underlies human cognition. Yet it is possible to trace the evolution of human cognitive abilities and tendencies by contrasting them with the skills of our nearest cousins--not just chimpanzees, but all the extant great apes--and thereby identify what we are likely to have inherited from our common ancestor.

In their new work, the researchers compared humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans in terms of their strategies for remembering where things are hidden. The researchers first showed that all non-human great apes and 1-year-old human infants exhibit identical preferences. This suggests that the common ancestor of all great apes enacted a similar strategy preference in employing spatial memory. The researchers then went on to examine 3-year-old human children and found that they show the reverse strategy preference. The new findings suggest that continuity exists between our species and the other great apes in the strategies we employ for spatial memory, but that this continuity is masked as human development proceeds.

The researchers include Daniel B.M. Haun of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging in Nijmegen, The Netherlands and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany; Josep Call of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany; Gabriele Janzen of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging in Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Stephen C. Levinson of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

This work was supported by the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Cognitive Strategy Shared By Human Infants And Great-ape Kin." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060910143629.htm>.
Cell Press. (2006, September 10). Cognitive Strategy Shared By Human Infants And Great-ape Kin. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060910143629.htm
Cell Press. "Cognitive Strategy Shared By Human Infants And Great-ape Kin." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060910143629.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins