New perspectives in primate cognitive ecology

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Paul A. Garber
American Journal of Primatology
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0275-2565 1098-2345

The papers in this issue are from a symposium presented at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists held in Buffalo, New York, in April 2002. In the light of recent theoretical and methodological advances and debates in the study of cognition, this symposium addressed questions concerning primate cognitive ecology and decision-making from a variety of perspectives. These include ontogenetic patterns of brain growth and learning, paleoecology and evolution, sensory adaptations, foraging strategies, tool-using behavior, and concepts derived from the study of human cognition, such as schemata, planning, and rehearsal of activities. In this issue, data are presented on New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, apes, and humans. It is argued that the ability to make decisions based on the recognition that tertiary relationships in one context can be used to understand cause-and-effect relationships in an unrelated context may enable nonhuman primates to effectively reduce uncertainty and solve problems in changing social and ecological environments.


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