Human brains better tooled up than monkeys
By Andy Coghlan
“Human brains light up when they see tools being used – but the sight fails to impress the brains of macaque monkey, our fellow primates, in the same way. In people, a particular brain region responds to tool use. This could have enabled early humans to understand how and why a tool worked, because it gave them early insights into cause and effect. Armed with this knowledge, they could work out in advance how tools could be used or modified to solve a multitude of new problems. Monkeys, by contrast, can be taught to use a tool to obtain a reward, but have little or no insight into the underlying concepts and forces that make it work.”
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