Article first published online: 27 MAY 2010
Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Topics in Cognitive Science
Volume 2, Issue 3, pages 407–419, July 2010
How to Cite
Seed, A. and Tomasello, M. (2010), Primate Cognition. Topics in Cognitive Science, 2: 407–419. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2010.01099.x
- Issue published online: 9 JUL 2010
- Article first published online: 27 MAY 2010
- Received 16 April 2009; received in revised form 22 September 2009; accepted 23 October 2009
- Theory of mind
As the cognitive revolution was slow to come to the study of animal behavior, the vast majority of what we know about primate cognition has been discovered in the last 30 years. Building on the recognition that the physical and social worlds of humans and their living primate relatives pose many of the same evolutionary challenges, programs of research have established that the most basic cognitive skills and mental representations that humans use to navigate those worlds are already possessed by other primates. There may be differences between humans and other primates, however, in more complex cognitive skills, such as reasoning about relations, causality, time, and other minds. Of special importance, the human primate seems to possess a species-unique set of adaptations for “cultural intelligence,” which are broad reaching in their effects on human cognition.