By Juan Carlos Gómez
What can the examine of younger monkeys and apes let us know concerning the minds of younger people? during this attention-grabbing advent to the examine of primate minds, Juan Carlos Gómez identifies evolutionary resemblances―and differences―between human teenagers and different primates. He argues that primate minds are most sensible understood no longer as mounted collections of specialised cognitive capacities, yet extra dynamically, as a variety of talents which could surpass their unique adaptations.
In a full of life review of a amazing physique of cognitive developmental examine between nonhuman primates, Gómez seems at wisdom of the actual global, causal reasoning (including the chimpanzee-like mistakes that human teenagers make), and the contentious topics of ape language, conception of brain, and imitation. makes an attempt to coach language to chimpanzees, in addition to experiences of the standard of a few primate vocal conversation within the wild, make a robust case that primates have a usual potential for rather refined conversation, and huge strength to profit while people educate them.
Gómez concludes that for all cognitive psychology’s curiosity in belief, details processing, and reasoning, a few crucial services of psychological lifestyles are in line with principles that can't be explicitly articulated. Nonhuman and human primates alike depend on implicit wisdom. learning nonhuman primates is helping us to appreciate this confusing point of all primate minds.
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Extra info for Apes, Monkeys, Children, and the Growth of Mind (The Developing Child)
An evolutionary precursor is a forerunner, an early form of an organ or a structure from which another, more complex or simply different form is derived. For example, morphologically the paws of the earliest primates were precursors to the many different kinds of hands found among current primates. An interesting issue is whether simpler forms of cognition found among other primates (the communicative calls of monkeys and apes) are precursors to higher cognitive abilities in humans ( speech). Strictly speaking, however, it is misleading to apply the notion of evolutionary precursor to compare humans with other living primates.
Such an integration is known as “constructivism,” and it has its roots in the work of Jean Piaget—a trained biologist who turned into the most inﬂuential developmental psychologist of the twentieth century with his studies of the origins and nature of cognition. It is difﬁcult not to sympathize with an effort to integrate rival views, to ﬁnd a middle ground where the best of each view can be put together. Yet it is not easy to be a constructivist. In deciding what is genetically determined and what emerges (and how) out of the interaction between the organism and the environment, constructivists tend to swing in the direction of nativism or empiricism, so that the classical debate between nature and nurture is frequently repeated within the supposedly integrative framework of constructivism.
The behavioral ﬂexibility associated with prolonged development is the result of ﬂexibility in forming representations of the world. My argument is that a crucial characteristic of primates is their ability to construct representations of the physical and social world and mediate their behavior by means of those representations. This is where their behavioral ﬂexibility comes from—the representations they have built during their prolonged infancy. And this is why this book is about the evolution of cognitive development: my aim is not simply to describe the intelligent and ﬂexible behaviors characteristic of primates, but to try to understand the sorts of representations that make possible such behavioral ﬂexibility.