The origin of intelligence

Human language and social cognition are closely linked: advanced social cognition is necessary for children to aquire language, and language allows forms of social understanding (and, more broadly, culture) that would otherwise be impossible. Both 'language' and 'social cognition' are complex constructs, involving many independent cognitive mechanisms, and the comparative approach provides a powerful route to understanding the evolution of such mechanisms. Profs Tecumseh Fitch, Thomas Bugnyar (both University of Vienna) and Ludwig Huber (University of veterinary Medicine Vienna) provide a broad comparative review of mechanisms underlying social intelligence in vertebrates, with the goal of determining which human mechanisms are broadly shared, which have evolved in parallel in other clades, and which, potentially are uniquely developed in our species. We emphasize the importance of convergent evolution for testing hypotheses about neural mechanisms and their evolution. Full manuscript published at NEURON at 2010. 

 

 

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The origin of intelligence

The researchers Fitch, Bugnyar und Huber investigate the evolutionary origin of cognitive abilities with an comparative approach.

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