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Comparative Neuropsychology$
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A. David Milner

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524113

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524113.001.0001

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Cognition in great apes

Cognition in great apes

Chapter:
(p.228) 13 Cognition in great apes
Source:
Comparative Neuropsychology
Author(s):

Richard W. Byrne

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524113.003.0013

This chapter first establishes a ‘baseline’ of animal cognition, against which to compare the cognition of great apes. The proper group to use for this is the Old World monkeys, diverging from the ape line at about 30 Ma. Then, evidence that great apes differ cognitively from monkeys is reviewed. Unfortunately, as yet the picture of cognitive differences between the various great apes is sketchy; the pattern seen in recent years is for an ability, first detected with the much-studied common chimpanzee, to be later found in other, and perhaps all, ape species. Once the genuine differences among the apes are worked out, it will be possible to trace human cognitive evolution in some detail from 14 Ma to 5 Ma, but at present this would be premature speculation.

Keywords:   animal cognition, great apes, cognitive evolution, chimpanzees, Old World monkeys

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