HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
How did our ancestors' minds really work?

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.

Being able to remember and relocate particular places where there is food is an asset to any species. There are two basic strategies for remembering the location of something: either remembering the features of the item (it was a tree, a stone, etc.), or knowing the spatial placement (left, right, middle, etc.). All animal species tested so far - from goldfish, pigeons and rats though to humans - seem to employ both strategies. However, if the type of recall task is designed so that the two strategies are in opposition, then some species (e.g. fish, rats and dogs) have a preference for locational strategies, while others (e.g. toads, chickens and children) favor those which use distinctive features.

Until now, no studies had systematically investigated these preferences along the phylogenetic tree. Recently, however, Daniel Haun and his colleagues have carried out the first research of its kind into the cognitive preferences of a whole biological family, the hominids. They compared the five species of great apes - orangutans, gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees and humans - to establish which cognitive strategies they prefer in order to uncover hidden characteristics. The researchers worked on the
'"/>

Contact: Daniel Haun
haun@eva.mpg.de
49-341-355-0462
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
6-Sep-2006


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Worldwide research network needed to really understand what is changing in the Arctic
2. What does the public really know about HPV?
3. Home, home on the range: How much space does an animal really need?
4. Getting America really ready
5. Do plant species really exist? Why, yes, scientists say
6. Throwaway society? Truth is, we really care about getting rid of things
7. New book explains how evolution really works, rebuts intelligent design
8. When cave crickets go out for dinner, they really go, researchers say
9. Whats really making you sick? Plant pathologists offer the science behind Sick Building Syndrome
10. Were bigger brains really smarter?
11. Smallpox outbreak: How long would it take for vaccines to protect people? Would it work?

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/10/2019)... ... January 10, 2019 , ... When Dr. James L. Sherley, M.D., ... invited to contribute a chapter to the new book Perinatal Stem Cells: Research and ... effort to address a debilitating secret of stem cell medicine. For more than ...
(Date:1/8/2019)... ... January 07, 2019 , ... PureWay, a ... to welcome Thomas Kennedy as head of sales and business development efforts, effective ... Mr. Kennedy has previously worked for Johnson & Johnson Medical, Globus Medical, WRP ...
(Date:1/7/2019)... , ... January 07, 2019 , ... ... and leading supplier of Graph Database technology for Knowledge Graphs solutions, announced that ... 2019 ‘Trend-Setting’ Product . DBTA’s data and information management recognition list ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/2/2019)... ... February 01, 2019 , ... ... the appointment of its new CEO, Julien Dert, being effective on February 1st, ... experience in finance and management, in which more than 12 years in the ...
(Date:1/30/2019)... FORT WORTH, Texas (PRWEB) , ... January 29, ... ... of Sales and Marketing with Lifecycle since 2016. In his position as Director ... premier life science tools and services supplier across multiple industries the company supports. ...
(Date:1/30/2019)... WORCESTER, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... January 29, 2019 ... ... it tell when someone is frustrated over something like a tricky math problem ... A research team led by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) computer science assistant professor ...
(Date:1/30/2019)... VERONA, Italy (PRWEB) , ... January 30, 2019 ... ... Without Walls section of the international tasting 5StarWines to promote and give recognition ... sulfite wines. The Wine Without Walls selection takes place in Verona, Italy, contemporaneously ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: