Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-vh8gq Total loading time: 1.71 Render date: 2022-09-26T14:16:55.571Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

The cognitive bases of human tool use

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2012

Krist Vaesen
Philosophy & Ethics, School of Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5612 AZ Eindhoven, The Netherlands. k.vaesen@tue.nl


This article has two goals. The first is to assess, in the face of accruing reports on the ingenuity of great ape tool use, whether and in what sense human tool use still evidences unique, higher cognitive ability. To that effect, I offer a systematic comparison between humans and nonhuman primates with respect to nine cognitive capacities deemed crucial to tool use: enhanced hand-eye coordination, body schema plasticity, causal reasoning, function representation, executive control, social learning, teaching, social intelligence, and language. Since striking differences between humans and great apes stand firm in eight out of nine of these domains, I conclude that human tool use still marks a major cognitive discontinuity between us and our closest relatives. As a second goal of the paper, I address the evolution of human technologies. In particular, I show how the cognitive traits reviewed help to explain why technological accumulation evolved so markedly in humans, and so modestly in apes.

Target Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Ahn, W. & Kalish, C. (2000) The role of mechanism beliefs in causal reasoning. In: Cognition and explanation, ed. Wilson, R. & Keil, F., pp. 199226. MIT Press.Google Scholar
Ahn, W., Kalish, C., Medin, D. & Gelman, S. (1995) The role of covariation versus mechanism information in causal attribution. Cognition 54:299352.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Arbib, M. A. (2005) From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28:105–24.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Aunger, R. (2010) What's special about human technology? Cambridge Journal of Economics 34(1):115–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Axelrod, R. & Hamilton, W. (1981) The evolution of cooperation. Science 211:1390–96.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bar-Yosef, O. (2002) The Upper Paleolithic revolution. Annual Review of Anthropology 31:363–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Berti, A. & Frassinetti, F. (2000) When far becomes near: Remapping of space by tool use. Journal Cognitive Neuroscience 12(3):415–20.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Biro, D., Sousa, C. & Matsuzawa, T. (2006) Ontogeny and cultural propagation of tool use by wild chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea: Case studies in nut cracking and leaf folding. In: Cognitive development in chimpanzees, ed. Matsuzawa, T., Tomonaga, M. & Tanaka, M., pp. 476508. Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boesch, C. (1991) Teaching among wild chimpanzees. Animal Behaviour 41(3):530–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boesch, C. (1994) Cooperative hunting in wild chimpanzees. Animal Behaviour 48:653–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boesch, C. (2002) Cooperative hunting roles among Taï chimpanzees. Human Nature 13:2746.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Boesch, C. & Boesch, H. (1984) Mental map in wild chimpanzees: An analysis of hammer transports for nut cracking. Primates 25:160–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boesch, C. & Boesch, H. (1989) Hunting behavior of wild chimpanzees in the Taï National Park. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 78:547–73.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Boesch, C., Head, J. & Robbins, M. (2009) Complex tool sets for honey extraction among chimpanzees in Loango National Park, Gabon. Journal of Human Evolution 56:560–69.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Boyd, R. & Richerson, P. (1985) Culture and the evolutionary process. University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Boyd, R. & Richerson, P. (1995) Why does culture increase adaptability? Ethology and Sociobiology 16:125–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boyd, R. & Richerson, P. (1996) Why culture is common but cultural evolution is rare. Proceedings of the British Academy 88:7393.Google Scholar
Bradshaw, J. & Nettleton, N. (1982) Language lateralization to the dominant hemisphere: Tool use, gesture and language in hominid evolution. Current Psychological Reviews 2:171–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brosnan, S. & Beran, M. (2009) Trading behavior between conspecifics in chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes. Journal of Comparative Psychology 123:181–94.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Brosnan, S. & de Waal, F. (2002) A proximate perspective on reciprocal altruism. Human Nature 13:129–52.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Brosnan, S., Silk, J., Henrich, J., Mareno, M., Lambeth, S. & Schapiro, S. (2009) Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) do not develop contingent reciprocity in an experimental task. Animal Cognition 12:587–97.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Buxbaum, L. J., Sirigu, A., Schwartz, M. F. & Klatzky, R. (2003) Cognitive representations of hand posture in ideomotor apraxia. Neuropsychologia 41(8):1091–13.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Byrne, R. (2004) The manual skills and cognition that lie behind hominid tool use. In: Evolutionary origins of great ape intelligence, ed. Russon, A. & Begun, D. R., pp. 3144. Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Caldwell, C. & Millen, A. (2008) Social learning mechanisms and cumulative cultural evolution. Psychological Science 20:1478–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Call, J. & Tomasello, M. (2008) Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? 30 years later. Trends in Cognitive Science 20:1478–84.Google Scholar
Calvin, W. (1990) The ascent of mind. Bantam.Google Scholar
Calvin, W. (1993) The unitary hypothesis: A common neural circuitry for novel manipulations, language, plan-ahead, and throwing? In: Tools, language, and cognition in human evolution, ed. Gibson, K. & Ingold, T., pp. 230–50. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Carvalho, S., Biro, D., McGrew, W. & Matsuzawa, T. (2009) Tool-composite reuse in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Archaeologically invisible steps in the technological evolution of early hominins? Animal Cognition 12:S103–14.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Casler, K. & Kelemen, D. (2005) Young children's rapid learning about artifacts. Developmental Science 8(6):472–80.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cheney, D. & Seyfarth, R. (1990) How monkeys see the world. University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Coolidge, F. & Wynn, T. (2005) Working memory, its executive functions, and the emergence of modern thinking. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 15:526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Corballis, M. (2010) Mirror neurons and the evolution of language. Brain & Language 112:2535.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Csibra, G. & Gergely, G. (2006) Social learning and social cognition: The case for pedagogy. In: Processes of change in brain and cognitive development, vol. 21: Attention and performance, ed. Johnson, M. & Munakata, Y., pp. 249–74. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Csibra, G. & Gergely, G. (2007) “Obsessed with goals”: Functions and mechanisms of teleological interpretation of actions in humans. Acta Psychologica 124:6078.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Csibra, G. & Gergely, G. (2009) Natural pedagogy. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13(4):148–53.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Cummins-Sebree, S. E. & Fragaszy, D. M. (2005) Choosing and using tools: Capuchins (Cebus apella) use a different metric than tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Journal of Comparative Psychology 119(2):210–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
de Waal, F. (1989) Food-sharing and reciprocal obligations in chimpanzees. Journal of Human Evolutionary Anthropology 18:433–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
de Waal, F. (2000) Attitudinal reciprocity in food sharing among brown capuchin monkeys. Animal Behaviour 60:253–61.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
de Waal, F. (2006) Primates and philosophers. Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Defeyter, M. A. & German, T. P. (2003) Acquiring an understanding of design: Evidence from children's insight problem solving. Cognition 89(2):133–55.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dodgson, M. (1993) Organizational learning: A review of some literatures. Organization Studies 14:375–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Donald, M. (1993) Human cognitive evolution. What we were, what we are becoming. Social Research 60:143–70.Google Scholar
Donald, M. (1999) Preconditions for the evolution of protolanguage. In: The descent of mind: Psychological perspectives on hominid evolution, ed. Corballis, M. C. & Lea, S. E. G., pp. 355–65. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Duncker, K. (1945) On problem solving. American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
Efferson, C., Lalive, R., Richerson, P. J., McElreath, R., & Lubell, M. (2008) Conformists and mavericks: The empirics of frequency-dependent cultural transmission. Evolution and Human Behavior 29:5664.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Farnè, A., Iriki, A. & Làdavas, E. (2005) Shaping multisensory action-space with tools: Evidence from patients with cross-modal extinction. Neuropsychologia 43(2):238–48.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Farnè, A. & Làdavas, E. (2000) Dynamic size-change of hand peripersonal space following tool use. NeuroReport 11:1645–49.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fowler, A. & Sommer, V. (2007) Subsistence technology of Nigerian chimpanzees. International Journal of Primatology 28:9971023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frey, S. H. (2003) What's so special about human tool use? Neuron 39(2):201204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frey, S. H. (2004) The neural bases of complex tool use in humans. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8(2):7178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frey, S. H. (2007) Neurological specializations for manual gesture and tool use in humans. In: Evolution of nervous systems, ed. Kaas, J., pp. 395406. Elsevier Science.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gergely, G., Bekkering, H. & Király, I. (2002) Rational imitation in preverbal infants. Nature 415:755–56.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
German, T. P. & Barrett, H. C. (2005) Functional fixedness in a technologically sparse culture. Psychological Science 16(1):15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gibson, K. (1990) New perspectives on instincts and intelligence: Brain size and the emergence of hierarchical mental constructional skills. In: “Language” and intelligence in monkeys and apes: Comparative developmental perspectives, ed. Parker, S. & Gibson, K., pp. 97128. Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gibson, K. (1993) General introduction: Animal minds, human minds. In: Tools, language, and cognition in human evolution, ed. Gibson, K. & Ingold, T., pp. 319. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Gibson, K. (2007) Putting it all together: A constructionist approach to the evolution of human mental capacities. In: Rethinking the human revolution, ed. Mellars, P., Boyle, K., Bar-Yosef, O. & Stringer, C., pp. 6778. McDonald Institute Monographs.Google Scholar
Goldenberg, G., Hartmann-Schmid, K., Sürer, F., Daumüller, M. & Hermsdörfer, J. (2007a) The impact of dysexecutive syndrome on use of tools and technical devices. Cortex 43(3):424–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldenberg, G., Hermsdörfer, J., Glindemann, R., Rorden, C. & Karnath, H. (2007b) Pantomime of tool use depends on integrity of left inferior frontal cortex. Cerebral Cortex 17(12):2769–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldenberg, G. & Spatt, J. (2009) The neural basis of tool use. Brain 132:1645–55.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gopnik, A. (2000) Explanation as orgasm and the drive for causal knowledge: The function, evolution, and phenomenology of the theory formation system. In: Explanation and cognition, ed. Keil, F. & Wilson, R., pp. 299324. MIT Press.Google Scholar
Greenfield, P. (1978) Structural parallels between language and action in development. In: Action, symbol, gesture: The emergence of language, ed. Lock, A., pp. 415–47. Academic Press.Google Scholar
Greenfield, P. (1991) Language, tools and brain: The ontogeny and phylogeny of hierarchically organized sequential behavior. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14:531–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grossman, M. (1980) A central processor for hierarchically structured material: Evidence from Broca's aphasia. Neuropsychologia 18:299308.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hanus, D. & Call, J. (2007) Discrete quantity judgments in the great apes (Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, Pongo pygmaeus): The effect of presenting whole sets versus item-by-item. Journal of Comparative Psychology 21:241–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hauser, M. D. (1997) Artifactual kinds and functional design features: What a primate understands without language. Cognition 64(3):285308.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Head, H. & Holmes, G. (1911) Sensory disturbances from cerebral lesions. Brain and Cognition 34:102254.Google Scholar
Henrich, J. (2002) Decision-making, cultural transmission and adaptation in economic anthropology. In: Theory in economic anthropology, ed. Ensminger, J., pp. 251–95. AltaMira Press.Google Scholar
Henrich, J. (2004) Demography and cultural evolution: Why adaptive cultural processes produced maladaptive losses in Tasmania. American Antiquity 69(2):197214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henrich, J. (2009) The evolution of innovation-enhancing institutions. In: Innovation in cultural systems: Contributions from evolutionary anthropology, ed. O'Brien, M. & Shennan, S., pp. 99120. MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henrich, J. & Gil-White, F. (2001) The evolution of prestige. Freely conferred deference as a mechanism for enhancing the benefits of cultural transmission. Evolution and Human Behavior 22:165–96.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Henrich, J., Heine, S. & Norenzayan, A. (2010) The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33:6183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Henrich, J. & McElreath, R. (2003) The evolution of cultural evolution. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews 12(3):123–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hernik, M. & Csibra, G. (2009) Functional understanding facilitates learning about tools in human children. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 19(1):3438.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Herrmann, E., Call, J., Hernández-Lloreda, M. V., Hare, B. & Tomasello, M. (2007) Humans have evolved specialized skills of social cognition: The cultural intelligence hypothesis. Science 317(5843):1360–66.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Higuchi, S., Chaminade, T., Imamizua, H. & Kawato, M. (2009) Shared neural correlates for language and tool use in Broca's area. NeuroReport 20:1376–81.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hockings, K., Humle, T., Anderson, J., Biro, D., Sousa, C., Ohashi, G. & Matsuzawa, T. (2007) Chimpanzees share forbidden fruit. PLoS ONE 2:e886.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Holmes, N. P., Calvert, G. A. & Spence, C. (2004) Extending or projecting peripersonal space with tools? Multisensory interactions highlight only the distal and proximal ends of tools. Neuroscience Letters 372:6267.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hopkins, W. (2006) Comparative and familial analysis of handedness in great apes. Psychological Bulletin 132:538–59.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hopper, L., Spiteri, A., Lambeth, S., Shapiro, S., Horner, V. & Whiten, A. (2007) Experimental studies of traditions and underlying transmission processes in chimpanzees. Animal Behaviour 73:1021–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Horner, V., Proctor, D., Bonnie, K., Whiten, A. & de Waal, F. (2010) Prestige affects cultural learning in chimpanzees. PLoS ONE 5:e10625.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Horner, V. & Whiten, A. (2005) Causal knowledge and imitation/emulation switching in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens). Animal Cognition 8(3):164–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Horner, V., Whiten, A., Flynn, E. & de Waal, F. (2006) Faithful replication of foraging techniques along cultural transmission chains by chimpanzees and children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103:13878–83.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hrdy, S. B. (2009) Mothers and others: The evoltuionary origins of mutual understanding. Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Humle, T. & Matsuzawa, T. (2009) Laterality in hand use across four tool-use behaviors among the wild chimpanzees of Bossou, Guinea, West Africa. American Journal of Primatology 71:4048.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hunt, K. (2006) Sex differences in chimpanzee foraging behavior and tool use: Implications for the Oldowan. In: The Oldowan: Case studies into the earliest Stone Age, ed. Schick, K. & Toth, N., pp. 243–66. Stone Age Institute.Google Scholar
Iriki, A., Tanaka, M. & Iwamura, Y. (1996) Coding of modified body schema during tool use by macaque postcentral neurones. NeuroReport 7(14):2325–30.Google ScholarPubMed
Jensen, K., Hare, B., Call, J. & Tomasello, M. (2006) What's in it for me? Self-regard precludes altruism and spite in chimpanzees. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Series B 273:1013–21.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jones, S. (2007) Imitation in infancy: The development of imitation. Psychological Science 18:593–99.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jones, S. (2009) The development of imitation in infancy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 364:2325–35.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kaplan, C. A. & Simon, H. A. (1990) In search of insight. Cognitive Psychology 22:374419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Keil, F. (2011) Science starts early. Science 331:1022–23.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kempler, D. (1993) Disorders of language and tool use: Neurological and cognitive links. In: Tools, language, and cognition in human evolution, ed. Gibson, K. & Ingold, T., pp. 193215. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kimura, D. (1979) Neuromotor mechanisms in the evolution of human communication. In: Neurobiology of social communication in primates, ed. Steklis, H. & Raleigh, M., pp. 197219. Academic Press.Google Scholar
Króliczak, G. & Frey, S. H. (2009) A common network in the left cerebral hemisphere represents planning of tool use pantomimes and familiar intransitive gestures at the hand-independent level. Cerebral Cortex 19(10):2396–410.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lagnado, D. A., Waldmann, M. R., Hagmayer, Y. & Sloman, S. A. (2007) Beyond covariation: Cues to causal structure. In: Causal learning: Psychology, philosophy, and computation. ed. Gopnik, A. & Schulz, L., pp. 154–72. Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Laland, K. N. & Hoppitt, W. (2003) Do animals have culture? Evolutionary Anthropology 12:154–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lewis, G. (1995) The articulation of circumstance and causal understandings. In: Causal cognition: A multidisciplinary debate, ed. Sperber, D., Premack, D. & Premack, A., pp. 557–76. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Lonsdorf, E. & Hopkins, W. (2005) Wild chimpanzees show population-level handedness for tool use. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102:12634–38.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lycett, S. & Gowlett, J. (2008) On questions surrounding the Acheulean “tradition.” World Archaeology 40:295315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lyons, D. E., Young, A. G. & Keil, F. C. (2007) The hidden structure of overimitation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104:19751–56.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
MacLarnon, A. (1996) The scaling of gross dimensions of the spinal cord in primates and other species. Journal of Human Evolution 30:7187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Maravita, A. & Iriki, A. (2004) Tools for the body (schema). Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8(2):7986.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Maravita, A., Husain, M., Clarke, K. & Driver, J. (2001) Reaching with a tool extends visual-tactile interactions into far space: Evidence from cross–modal extinction. Neuropsychologia 39:580–85.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Maravita, A., Spence, C., Kennett, S. & Driver, J. (2002) Tool-use changes multimodal spatial interactions between vision and touch in normal humans. Cognition 83:2534.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Marlowe, F. (2007) Hunting and gathering: The human sexual division of foraging labor. Cross-Cultural Research 41:170–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Martin-Ordas, G. & Call, J. (2009) Assessing generalization within and between trap tasks in the great apes. International Journal of Comparative Psychology 22:4360.Google Scholar
Martin-Ordas, G., Call, J. & Colmenares, F. (2008) Tubes, tables and traps: Great apes solve two functionally equivalent trap tasks but show no evidence of transfer across tasks. Animal Cognition 11(3):423–30.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Matsuzawa, T. (2001) Primate origins of human cognition and behavior. Springer Tokyo.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Matsuzawa, T. (2009) Symbolic representation of number in chimpanzees. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 19:9298.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
McClelland, D. (1985) Human motivation. Scott Foresman.Google Scholar
McElreath, R. (2010) The coevolution of genes, innovation and culture in human evolution. In: Mind the gap, ed. Kappeler, P. & Silk, J., pp. 451–74. Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGrew, W. (1992) Chimpanzee material culture: Implications for human evolution. Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGrew, W. (1993) The intelligent use of tools: Twenty propositions. In: Tools, language, and cognition in human evolution, ed. Gibson, K. & Ingold, T., pp. 151–69. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
McGrew, W. C. & Marchant, L. F. (1999) Laterality of hand use pays off in foraging success for wild chimpanzees. Primates 40:509–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McGuigan, N., Whiten, A., Flynn, E. & Horner, V. (2007) Imitation of causally opaque versus causally transparent tool use by 3- and 5-year-old children. Cognitive Development 22:353–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Melis, A., Hare, B. & Tomasello, M. (2008) Do chimpanzees reciprocate received favours? Animal Behaviour 76:951–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mesoudi, A. (2009) How cultural evolutionary theory can inform social psychology, and vice versa. Psychological Review 116:929–52.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mesoudi, A. (2011a) Variable cultural acquisition costs constrain cumulative cultural evolution. PLoS ONE 6(3): e18239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mesoudi, A. (2011b) An experimental comparison of human social learning strategies: Payoff-biased social learning is adaptive but underused. Evolution and Human Behavior 32(5): 334–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Michel, G. & Harkins, D. (1985) Concordance of handedness between teacher and student facilitates learning manual skills. Journal of Human Evolution 14:597601.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mithen, S. (1994) Technology and society during the Middle Pleistocene: Hominid group size, social learning and industrial variability. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 4:332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mithen, S. (1996) The prehistory of the mind: The cognitive origins of art and science. Thomas and Hudson.Google Scholar
Mithen, S. (1999) Imitation and cultural change: A view from the Stone Age, with specific reference to the manufacture of handaxes. In: Mammalian social learning: Comparative and ecological perspectives, ed. Box, H. & Gibson, K., pp. 389–99. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Mokyr, J. (2002) The gifts of Athena: Historical origins of the knowledge economy. Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Moore, A., Hillman, G. & Legge, A. (2000) Village on the Euphrates: From foraging to farming at Abu Hureyra. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Morris, M. W., Nisbett, R. E. & Peng, K. (1995) Causal attribution across domains and cultures. In: Causal cognition: A multidisciplinary debate, ed. Sperber, D., Premack, D. & Premack, A., pp. 577614. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Morrison, R., Krawczyk, D., Holyoak, K., Hummel, J., Chow, T., Miller, B. & Knowlton, B. (2004) A neurocomputational model of analogical reasoning and its breakdown in frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 16:260–71.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mulcahy, N. J. & Call, J. (2006b) Apes save tools for future use. Science 312:1038–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nakamura, M. & Itoh, N. (2001) Sharing of wild fruits among male chimpanzees: Two cases from Mahale, Tanzania. Pan-African News 8:2831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Naqshbandi, M. & Roberts, W. (2006) Anticipation of future events in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) and rats (Rattus norvegicus): Tests of the Bischof-Köhler hypothesis. Journal of Comparative Psychology 120:345–57.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Norenzayan, A. & Nisbett, R. E. (2000) Culture and causal cognition. Current Directions in Psychological Science 9:132–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nowak, M. & Sigmund, K. (2005) Evolution of indirect reciprocity. Nature 437:1291–98.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ochipa, C., Rothi, L. & Heilman, K. (1992) Conceptual apraxia in Alzheimer's disease. Brain 115:1061–71.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Orban, G. A., Claeys, K., Nelissen, K., Smans, R., Sunaert, S., Todd, J. T., Wardak, C., Durand, J. & Vanduffel, W. (2006) Mapping the parietal cortex of human and non-human primates. Neuropsychologia 44(13):2647–67.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Osvath, M. & Osvath, H. (2008) Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and orangutan (Pongo abelii) forethought: Self-control and pre-experience in the face of future tool use. Animal Cognition 11(4):661–74.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Penn, D. C. & Povinelli, D. J. (2007a) Causal cognition in human and nonhuman animals: A comparative, critical review. Annual Review of Psychology. 58:97118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Penn, D. C. & Povinelli, D. J. (2007b) On the lack of evidence that non-human animals possess anything remotely resembling a “theory of mind.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 362:731–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Penn, D. C., Holyoak, K. & Povinelli, D. J. (2008) Darwin's mistake: Explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31(2):109–78.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Petraglia, M., Shipton, C. & Paddayya, K. (2005) Life and mind in the Acheulean: A case study from India. In: The hominid individual in context: Archaeological investigations of Lower and Middle Pleistocene landscapes, locales and artefacts, ed. Gamble, C. & Porr, M., pp. 197219. Routledge.Google Scholar
Povinelli, D. J. & Dunphy-Lelii, S. (2001) Do chimpanzees seek explanations? Preliminary comparative investigations. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology 55(2):187–95.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Povinelli, D. J., Reaux, J. E. & Frey, S. H. (2010) Chimpanzees' context-dependent tool use provides evidence for separable representations of hand and tool even during active tool use within peripersonal space. Neuropsychologia 48:243–47.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Povinelli, D. J., Reaux, J.E., Theall, L.A. & Giambrone, S. (2000) Folk physics for apes: The chimpanzee's theory of how the world works. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Povinelli, D. J. & Vonk, J. (2003) Chimpanzee minds: Suspiciously human? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7:157–60.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Powell, A., Shennan, S. & Thomas, M. (2009) Late Pleistocene demography and the appearance of modern human behavior. Science 324:1298–301.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Premack, D. (2004) Is language the key to human intelligence? Science 303:318–20.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Premack, D. & Premack, A. (1994) Levels of causal understanding in chimpanzees and children. Cognition 50:347–62.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Premack, D. & Woodruff, G. (1978) Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1:515–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Raby, C. R., Alexis, D. M., Dickinson, A. & Clayton, N. S. (2007) Planning for the future by Western Scrub-Jays. Nature 445:919–21.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Raymond, M. & Pontier, D. (2004) Is there geographical variation in human handedness? Laterality 9:3551.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Richerson, P. & Boyd, R. (2005) Not by genes alone: How culture transformed human evolution. University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Richerson, P. & Boyd, R. (2008) Response to our critics. Biology & Philosophy 23:301–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rightmire, G. (2004) Brain size and encephalization in early to mid-Pleistocene Homo . American Journal of Physical Anthropology 124:109–23.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rizzolatti, G. & Arbib, M. A. (1998) Language within our grasp. Trends in Neurosciences 21(5):188–94.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Roser, M., Fugelsang, J., Dunbar, K., Corballis, P. & Gazzaniga, M. (2005) Dissociating processes supporting causal perception and causal inference in the brain. Neuropsychology 19:591602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rossano, M. (2003) Expertise and the evolution of consciousness. Cognition 89:207–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sanz, C. & Morgan, D. (2007) Chimpanzee tool technology in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo. Journal of Human Evolution 52:420–33.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sanz, C., Schning, C. & Morgan, D. (2009) Chimpanzees prey on army ants with specialized tool set. American Journal of Primatology 71:18.Google Scholar
Saviotti, P. (1996) Technological evolution, variety and the economy. Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
Saviotti, P. & Metcalfe, J. (1984) A theoretical approach to the construction of technological output indicators. Research Policy 13:141–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schulz, L., Gopnik, A. & Glymour, C. (2007) Preschool children learn about causal structure from conditional interventions. Developmental Science 10:322–32.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Seed, A. M., Call, J., Emery, N. J. & Clayton, N. S. (2009) Chimpanzees solve the trap problem when the confound of tool-use is removed. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 35:2334.Google ScholarPubMed
Shennan, S. & Steele, J. (1999) Cultural learning in hominids: A behavioural ecological approach. In: Mammalian social learning: Comparative and ecological perspectives, ed. Box, H. & Gibson, K., pp. 367–88. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Shipton, C. (2010) Imitation and shared intentionality in the Acheulean. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 20:197210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Silk, J. B., Brosnan, S. F., Vonk, J., Henrich, J., Povinelli, D. J., Richardson, A., Lambeth, S., Mascaro, J. & Schapiro, S. (2005) Chimpanzees are indifferent to the welfare of unrelated group members. Nature 437:1357–59.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sirigu, A., Cohen, L., Duhamel, J. R., Pillon, B., Dubois, B. & Agid, Y. (1995) A selective impairment of hand posture for object utilization in apraxia. Cortex 31:4155.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Slocombe, K. & Newton-Fisher, N. (2005) Fruit sharing between wild adult chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii): A socially significant event? American Journal of Primatology 65:385–91.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Smith, S. (1995) Getting into and out of mental ruts: A theory of fixation, incubation, and insight. In: The nature of insight, ed. Sternberg, R. J. & Davidson, J., pp. 229–51. MIT Press.Google Scholar
Stanford, C. B. (2001) A comparison of social meat-foraging by chimpanzees and human foragers. In: Meat-eating and human evolution, ed. Stanford, C. B. & Bunn, H. T., pp. 122–40. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Stanford, C. B., Wallis, J., Mpongo, E. & Goodall, J. (1994) Hunting decisions in wild chimpanzees. Behaviour 131:120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sterelny, K. (2006) The evolution and evolvability of culture. Mind and Language 21:137–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stevens, J. & Hauser, M. (2004) Why be nice? Psychological constraints on the evolution of cooperation. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8:6065.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Stokes, E. & Byrne, R. (2001) Cognitive capacities for behavioural flexibility in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): The effect of snare injury on complex manual food processing. Animal Cognition 4:1128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stokoe, W. (2001) Language in hand: Why sign came before speech. Gallaudet University Press.Google Scholar
Stout, D. & Chaminade, T. (2007) The evolutionary neuroscience of tool making. Neuropsychologia 45(5):1091–100.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Stout, D., Toth, N., Schick, K. & Chaminade, T. (2008) Neural correlates of early Stone Age toolmaking: Technology, language and cognition in human evolution. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363(1499):1939–49.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Suddendorf, T. & Corballis, M. (1997) Mental time travel and the evolution of the human mind. Genetic, Social and General Psychology 123:133–67.Google ScholarPubMed
Suddendorf, T. & Corballis, M. (2007) The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel and is it unique to humans? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30:299351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Suddendorf, T. & Corballis, M. (2009) How great is ape foresight? Animal Cognition 12:751–54.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tennie, C., Call, J. & Tomasello, M. (2009) Ratcheting up the ratchet: On the evolution of cumulative culture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 364(1528):2405–15.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tomasello, M. (1990) Cultural transmission in the tool use and communicatory signaling of chimpanzees. In: “Language” and intelligence in monkeys and apes: Comparative developmental perspectives, ed. Parker, S. & Gibson, K., pp. 274311. Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tomasello, M. (1994) The question of chimpanzee culture. In: Chimpanzee cultures, ed. Wrangham, W., McGrew, W. & de Waal, F., pp. 301–17. Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Tomasello, M. (2000) Two hypotheses about primate cognition. In: The evolution of cognition, ed. Heyes, C. & Huber, L., pp. 165–83. MIT Press.Google Scholar
Tomasello, M. (2009) Postscript: Chimpanzee culture. In: The question of animal culture, ed. Laland, K. N. & Galef, B. G., pp. 213–21. Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Tomasello, M., Carpenter, M., Call, J., Behne, T. & Moll, H. (2005) Understanding and sharing intentions: The origins of cultural cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28(5):675735.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tomasello, M., Davis-Dasilva, M. & Camak, L. (1987) Observational learning of tool-use by young chimpanzees. Human Evolution 2:175–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tomasello, M. & Herrmann, E. (2010) Ape and human cognition: What's the difference? Current Directions in Psychological Science 19:38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tomasello, M., Kruger, A. C. & Ratner, H. H. (1993) Cultural learning. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16:495511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tomonaga, M. (2008) Relative numerosity discrimination by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): Evidence for approximate numerical representations. Animal Cognition 11:4357.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Toth, N. & Schick, K. (1993) Early stone industries and inferences regarding language and cognition. In: Tools, language, and cognition in human evolution, ed. Gibson, K. & Ingold, T., pp. 346–62. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Toth, N. & Schick, K. (2009) The Oldowan: The tool making of early hominins and chimpanzees compared. Annual Review of Anthropology 38(1):289305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Trivers, R. (1971) The evolution of reciprocal altruism. Quarterly Review of Biology 46:3557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Uomini, N. (2009) The prehistory of handedness: Archaeological data and comparative ethology. Journal of Human Evolution 57:411–19.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Visalberghi, E. & Limongelli, L. (1994) Lack of comprehension of cause–effect relations in tool-using capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Journal of Comparative Psychology 108(1):1522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Visalberghi, E. & Tomasello, M. (1998) Primate causal understanding in the physical and psychological domains. Behavioral Processes 42:189203.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Walker, A. (2009) The strength of great apes and the speed of humans. Current Anthropology 50:229–35.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Want, S. & Harris, P. (2001) Learning from other people's mistakes: Causal understanding in learning to use a tool. Child Development 72:431–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Warneken, F. & Tomasello, M. (2006) Altruistic helping in human infants and young chimpanzees. Science 311:1301–303.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Whiten, A., Custance, D., Gomez, J., Teixidor, P. & Bard, K. (1996) Imitative learning of artificial fruit processing in children (Homo sapiens) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Journal of Comparative Psychology 110:314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Whiten, A., Horner, V. & de Waal, F. (2005) Conformity to cultural norms of tool use in chimpanzees. Nature 437:738–40.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Whiten, A., Horner, V. & Marshall-Pescini, S. (2003) Cultural panthropology. Evolutionary Anthropology 12:92105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Whiten, A., McGuigan, N., Marshall-Pescini, S. & Hopper, L. (2009) Emulation, imitation, over-imitation and the scope of culture for child and chimpanzee. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 364:2417–28.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Whiten, A., Spiteri, A., Horner, V., Bonnie, K., Lambeth, S., Schapiro, S. & de Waal, F. (2007) Transmission of multiple traditions within and between chimpanzee groups. Current Biology 17:16.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wolpert, L. (2003) Causal belief and the origins of technology. Philosophical Transactions: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 361(1809):1709–19.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wynn, T. (1981) The intelligence of Oldowan hominids. Journal of Human Evolution 10:529–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wynn, T. (2002) Archaeology and cognitive evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25:389438.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wynn, T. & Coolidge, F. (2007) Did a small but significant enhancement in working memory capacity power the evolution of modern thinking? In: Rethinking the human revolution, ed. Mellars, P., Boyle, K., Bar-Yosef, O. & Stringer, C., pp. 7990. McDonald Institute Monographs.Google Scholar
Cited by