Primate Cognition and Culture

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Primate Cognition and Culture

Discusses primate cognition in relation to human cognition as well as primate "culture" and whether or not primate behaviors can be considered "culture"

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University of Missouri
Anthro 2050 - Introduction to Biological Anthropology With Laboratory
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Anthro2050 1st Edition Lecture 20 Outline of Last Lecture I. Primate Social and Reproductive Behavior Outline of Current Lecture II. Primate Cognition and Culture Current Lecture Primate Cognition and Culture: - studying primate cognition can help shed light on the human mind, however we must be careful in doing so as not to be biased towards approaching issues from purely a human mindset, forgetting the uniqueness and differences within other species - Why are primates so smart? - from an evolution view-point, there are two main reasons why primates would want to develop bigger brains and more complex cognition - the ecological model: so primates could track where and when food resources would be ready and available throughout different times of the year - the social model: to cope with many and complex social relations -Theory of Mind -ability to recognize the of mental states (beliefs, feelings, motives, and knowledge) in others and recognize that they may differ from your own - this allows individuals to predict how others will react in a situation, and is learned in early childhood development (is better developed in a 6 year old than a 6 month old) - it has been tested on animals to see if they develop theory of mind, and the findings have varied across species. One test is a mirror test to see if they recognize their reflection. Some do recognize the refection as themselves, some think it is another animal and display aggressive gestures, and some think it is another animal and display friendly gestures - it is already difficult enough to fully understand human intelligence, so trying to study cognition in other animals is very tricky. A lot of studies take place in labs, but that gives no insight to how these animals' cognition functions in the wild. - also, it is hard to know with modern methods if other species are actually aware of why they do what they do, or if they just do it because they saw others doing the same thing (such as eating some foods while avoiding others, rubbing medicinal leaves on their skin against parasites, deception and manipulation practices etc) - What About Culture? - it can be hard to define what culture is, and whether or not the behaviors of certain primate These notes represent a detailed interpretation of the professor’s lecture. GradeBuddy is best used as a supplement to your own notes, not as a substitute.

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