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WIREs Cogn Sci
Impact Factor: 3.175

Is there a link between the crafting of tools and the evolution of cognition?

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Abstract The ability to craft tools is one of the defining features of our species. The technical intelligence hypothesis predicts that tool‐making species should have enhanced physical cognition. Here we review how the physical problem‐solving performance of tool‐making apes and corvids compares to closely related species. We conclude that, while some performance differences have been found, overall the evidence is at best equivocal. We argue that increased sample sizes, novel experimental designs, and a signature‐testing approach are required to determine the effect tool crafting has on the evolution of intelligence. WIREs Cogn Sci 2014, 5:693–703. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1322 This article is categorized under: Cognitive Biology > Evolutionary Roots of Cognition Psychology > Comparative Psychology
The hierarchical organization of human stone tool crafting, New Caledonian crow hook crafting, and chimpanzee/orangutan brush crafting.
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Examples of (a) hook manufacture task, (b) perceptual‐feedback task, (c) trap‐tube task, (d) trap‐table task, (e) metatool task, (f) water‐displacement task, and (g) cane task.
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Cognitive Biology > Evolutionary Roots of Cognition
Psychology > Comparative Psychology

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