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The role of executive control in tool use

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2012

Gijsbert Stoet
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom. g.stoet@leeds.ac.ukhttp://volition.leeds.ac.uk/~stoet
Lawrence H. Snyder
Affiliation:
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110. larry@eye-hand.wustl.eduhttp://eye-hand.wustl.edu

Abstract

Comparing cognitive functions between humans and nonhuman primates is helpful for understanding human tool use. We comment on the latest insights from comparative research on executive control functions. Based on our own work, we discuss how even a mental function in which non-human primates outperform humans might have played a key role in the development of tool use.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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References

Caselli, L. & Chelazzi, L. (2011) Does the macaque monkey provide a good model for studying human executive control? A comparative behavioral study of task switching. PloS ONE 6(6):19.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Donald, M. (1993) Human cognitive evolution. What we were, what we are becoming. Social Research 60:143–70.Google Scholar
Stoet, G. & Snyder, L. H. (2003) Executive control and task-switching in monkeys. Neuropsychologia 41:1357–64.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Stoet, G. & Snyder, L. H. (2004) Single neurons in posterior parietal cortex (PPC) of monkeys encode cognitive set. Neuron 42:1003–12.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Stoet, G. & Snyder, L. H. (2007) Extensive practice does not eliminate human switch costs. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience 7:192–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stoet, G. & Snyder, L. H. (2009) Neural correlates of executive control functions in the monkey. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13:228–34.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
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