Tuesday, September 05, 2006

 

How did our Ancestors' Minds really work?

Orangutan Leipzig Zoo Evolutionary Anthropology Max Planck Institute (Evolution Research: John Latter / Jorolat)How did our evolutionary ancestors make sense of their world? What strategies did they use, for example, to find food? Fossils do not preserve thoughts, so we have so far been unable to glean any insights into the cognitive structure of our ancestors. However, in a study recently published in Current Biology (September 5, 2006), researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and their colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology were able to find answers to these questions using an alternative research method: comparative psychological research.

In this way, they discovered that some of the strategies shaped by evolution are evidently masked very early on by the cognitive development process unique to humans. [News]
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Based on "Evolutionary Psychology of Spatial Representations in the Hominidae" (Abstract)

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