Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Cultural intelligence is key to explaining human tool use

Claudio Tenniea1 and Harriet Overa1

a1 Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig 04013 Germany.


Contrary to Vaesen, we argue that a small number of key traits are sufficient to explain modern human tool use. Here we outline and defend the cultural intelligence (CI) hypothesis. In doing so, we critically re-examine the role of social transmission in explaining human tool use.

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