Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Explaining human cognitive autapomorphies

Thomas Suddendorfa1

a1 School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia. t.suddendorf@psy.uq.edu.au http://www.psy.uq.edu.au/directory/index.html?id=39

Abstract

The real reason for the apparent discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds is that all closely related hominids have become extinct. Nonetheless, I agree with Penn et al. that comparative psychology should aim to establish what cognitive traits humans share with other animals and what traits they do not share, because this could make profound contributions to genetics and neuroscience. There is, however, no consensus yet, and Penn et al.'s conclusion that it all comes down to one trait is premature.

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    Darwin's mistake: Explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds Derek C. Penn, Keith J. Holyoak and Daniel J. Povinelli Department of Psychology, University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095; Cognitive Evolution Group, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504 dcpenn@ucla.edu http://reasoninglab.psych.ucla.edu/ http://www.cognitiveevolutiongroup.org/; Department of Psychology, University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095 holyoak@lifesci.ucla.edu http://reasoninglab.psych.ucla.edu/; Cognitive Evolution Group, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA 70504 ceg@louisiana.edu http://www.cognitiveevolutiongroup.org/
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