Synopses & Reviews
This book explores afresh the long-standing interest, and emphasis on, the `special' capacities of primates. Some of the recent discoveries of the higher cognitive abilities of other mammals and also birds challenge the concept that primates are special and even the view that the cognitive ability of apes is more advanced than that of nonprimate mammals and birds. It is therefore timely to ask whether primates are, in fact, special and to do so from a broad range of perspectives. Divided into five sections this book deals with topics about higher cognition and how it is manifested in different species, and also considers aspects of brain structure that might be associated with complex behavior.
From the reviews: "Are primates superior? ... Comparative Vertebrate Cognition aims to answer this question or at least to consider and draw attention to what we know so far and assess the new research directions that are required so that we can answer the question in the future. ... Overall Comparative Vertebrate Cognition is a very enlightening and timely book. It is an interesting and thought-provoking attempt to draw attention to an area that is still in the early stages of its rise to scientific popularity ... ." (Lucy Bates, Primate Eye, February, 2006) "It is high time for primatologists to broaden their horizons in terms of learning about other animals ... . the editors provide a brief history of primatology and lay out their motivation for assembling this book. Rogers and Kaplan suggest that primates have been declared to be 'special' mainly as a political move ... . the book has opened some doors and will certainly promote the exchange of ideas by scholars studying the cognitive abilities of a variety of taxa." (Julia Fischer, Folia Primatologica, Vol. 76 (2), 2006)