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Not by thoughts alone: How language supersizes the cognitive toolkit

  • Hans IJzerman (a1) and Francesco Foroni (a2)

We propose that Vaesen's target article (a) underestimates the role of language in humans' cognitive toolkit and thereby (b) overestimates the proposed cognitive discontinuity between chimps and humans. We provide examples of labeling, numerical computation, executive control, and the relation between language and body, concluding that language plays a crucial role in “supersizing humans' cognitive toolkit.”

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A. Clark (1998a) Twisted tales: Causal complexity and cognitive scientific explanation. Minds and Machines 8:79–99. Reprinted in Explanation and cognition, ed. F. Keil & R. A. Wilson . MIT Press 2000.

M. Häfner & H. IJzerman (2011) The face of love: Spontaneous accommodation as social emotion regulation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Published online, retrieved through doi:10.1177/0146167211415629.

K. Vaesen (2012) The cognitive bases of human tool use. Behavioral and Brain Science 35(4).

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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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