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Motor planning in primates

  • Daniel J. Weiss (a1), Kate M. Chapman (a2), Jason D. Wark (a3) and David A. Rosenbaum (a4)

Vaesen asks whether goal maintenance and planning ahead are critical for innovative tool use. We suggest that these aptitudes may have an evolutionary foundation in motor planning abilities that span all primate species. Anticipatory effects evidenced in the reaching behaviors of lemurs, tamarins, and rhesus monkeys similarly bear on the evolutionary origins of foresight as it pertains to tool use.

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Chapman K. M., Weiss D. J. & Rosenbaum D. A. (2010) Evolutionary roots of motor planning: The end-state comfort effect in lemurs (Lemur catta, Eulemur mongoz, Eulemur coronatus, Eulemur collaris, Hapalemur griseus, and Varecia rubra). Journal of Comparative Psychology 124:229–32.
Johnson-Frey S. H. (2004) The neural bases of complex tool use in humans. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8:7178.
Nelson E. L., Berthier N. E., Metevier C. M. & Novak M. A. (2010) Evidence for motor planning in monkeys: Rhesus macaques select efficient grips when transporting spoons. Developmental Science 14:822–31.
Rosenbaum D. A. (2010) Human motor control, 2d ed. Academic Press/Elsevier.
Rosenbaum D. A., Cohen R. G., Meulenbroek R. G. & Vaughan J. (2006) Plans for grasping objects. In: Motor control and learning over the lifespan, ed. Latash M. & Lestienne F., pp. 925. Springer.
Rosenbaum D. A., Marchak F., Barnes H. J., Vaughan J., Slotta J. & Jorgensen M. (1990) Constraints for action selection: Overhand versus underhand grips. In: Attention and performance XIII: Motor representation and control, ed. Jeannerod M., pp. 321–42. Erlbaum.
Weiss D. J. & Wark J. (2009) Hysteresis effects in a motor task in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 35:427–33.
Weiss D. J., Wark J. D. & Rosenbaum D. A. (2007) Monkey see, monkey plan, monkey do: The end-state comfort effect in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Psychological Science 18(12):1063–68.
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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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