Skip to main content Accessibility help

Sharpening Occam's razor: Is there need for a hand-signing stage prior to vocal communication?

  • Conrado Bosman (a1), Vladimir López (a1) and Francisco Aboitiz (a1)


We commend Arbib for his original proposal that a mirror neuron system may have participated in language origins. However, in our view he proposes a complex evolutionary scenario that could be more parsimonious. We see no necessity to propose a hand-based signing stage as ancestral to vocal communication. The prefrontal system involved in human speech may have its precursors in the monkey's inferior frontal cortical domain, which is responsive to vocalizations and is related to laryngeal control.


Type Description Title

 PDF (1.5 MB)
1.5 MB


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed