Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Can object affordances impact on human social learning of tool use?

Pierre O. Jacqueta1a2a3, Alessia Tessaria1, Ferdinand Binkofskia4 and Anna M. Borghia1a5

a1 Department of Psychology, Bologna University, 40127 Bologna, Italy.

a2 INSERM U1028; CNRS UMR5292, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, ImpAct Team, 69500 Bron, France

a3 University Lyon1, 69622 Villeurbanne, France

a4 Section for Neurological Cognition Research, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany.

a5 Institute of Sciences and Technologies of Cognition, National Research Council, 00185 Rome, Italy.


The author describes “higher” and “uniquely human” sociocognitive skills that he argues as being necessary for tool use. We propose that those skills could be based on simpler detection systems humans could share with other animal tool users. More specifically, we discuss the impact of object affordances on the understanding and the social learning of tool use.

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