Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 1
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Ellerin, Bruce E. 2015. The Culinary Origins of Human Occupation: Part 2 (Communication and Interaction Skills). Journal of Occupational Science, Vol. 22, Issue. 1, p. 106.


Childhood and advances in human tool use

  • Mark Nielsen (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 15 June 2012

Human life history incorporates childhood, a lengthy post-weaning period of dependency. This species-specific period provides an opportunity for extensive learning and for sophisticated cultural behaviors to develop, including crucial tool use skills. Although I agree that no individual cognitive trait singularly differentiates humans from other animals, I suggest here that without childhood, the traits that are key to human tool use would not emerge.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Z. Hochberg & K. Albertsson-Wikland (2008) Evo-devo of infantile and childhood growth. Pediatric Research 64:27.

J. L. Locke & B. Bogin (2006) Language and life history: A new perspective on the development and evolution of human language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29:259325.

R. Macchiarelli , L. Bondioli , A. Debénath , A. Mazurier , J.-F. Tournepiche , W. Birch & M. C. Dean (2006) How Neanderthal molar teeth grew. Nature 444:748–51.

M. Nielsen & K. Tomaselli (2010) Over-imitation in Kalahari Bushman children and the origins of human cultural cognition. Psychological Science 21:729–36.

D. W. Sellen & D. B. Smay (2001) Relationship between subsistence and age at weaning in “preindustrial” societies. Human Nature 12:4787.

H. M. Wellman , D. Cross & J. Watson (2001) Meta-analysis of theory-of-mind development: The truth about false belief. Child Development 72:655–84.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *