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When people are not fully understood, they persist with attempts to communicate, elaborating their speech in order to better convey their meaning [1]. We investigated whether captive orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus and Pongo abelii) would use analogous communicative strategies in signaling to a human experimenter, and whether they could distinguish different(More)
The movements we make with our hands both reflect our mental processes and help to shape them. Our actions and gestures can affect our mental representations of actions and objects. In this paper, we explore the relationship between action, gesture and thought in both humans and non-human primates and discuss its role in the evolution of language. Human(More)
Great ape gesture has become a research topic of intense interest, because its intentionality and flexibility suggest strong parallels to human communication. Yet the fundamental question of whether an animal species’ gestures carry specific meanings has hardly been addressed. We set out a systematic approach to studying intentional meaning in the gestural(More)
Children vary greatly in the number of words they know when they enter school, a major factor influencing subsequent school and workplace success. This variability is partially explained by the differential quantity of parental speech to preschoolers. However, the contexts in which young learners hear new words are also likely to vary in referential(More)
Two studies are presented which examined the temporal dynamics of the social-attentive behaviors that co-occur with referent identification during natural parent-child interactions in the home. Study 1 focused on 6.2 h of videos of 56 parents interacting during everyday activities with their 14-18 month-olds, during which parents uttered common nouns as(More)
Nouns form the first building blocks of children's language but are not consistently modified by other words until around 2.5 years of age. Before then, children often combine their nouns with gestures that indicate the object labeled by the noun, for example, pointing at a bottle while saying "bottle." These gestures are typically assumed to be redundant(More)
This paper introduces dyadic brain modeling – the simultaneous, computational modeling of the brains of two interacting agents – to explore ways in which our understanding of macaque brain circuitry can ground new models of brain mechanisms involved in ape interaction. Specifically, we assess a range of data on gestural communication of great apes as the(More)
This chapter reviews primate cognitive abilities in physical, social, and communicative realms and asks (1) whether primates exhibit abilities that diff er from those of other animals, and (2) what selective pressures primates face that may have led to the emergence of specifi c cognitive abilities. The authors focus on communication as the most likely(More)
Spatial reasoning ability is enhanced by spatial activities and spatial language. Spatial games (e.g., block building, assembling jigsaw puzzles) are often accompanied by spatial language, which, in turn, is often accompanied by co-speech gesture. Here we investigate the effects of spatial language and gesture in the context of puzzle play in improving(More)
Great apes give gestures deliberately and voluntarily, in order to influence particular target audiences, whose direction of attention they take into account when choosing which type of gesture to use. These facts make the study of ape gesture directly relevant to understanding the evolutionary precursors of human language; here we present an assessment of(More)
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