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Neural Processes Underlying Tool Use in Humans, Macaques, and Corvids

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Cabrera-Álvarez, María J. 
Clayton, Nicola S. 


It was thought that tool use in animals is an adaptive specialization. Recent studies, however, have shown that some non-tool-users, such as rooks and jays, can use and manufacture tools in laboratory settings. Despite the abundant evidence of tool use in corvids, little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying tool use in this family of birds. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the neural processes underlying tool use in humans, macaques and corvids. We suggest a possible neural network for tool use in macaques and hope this might inspire research to discover a similar brain network in corvids. We hope to establish a framework to elucidate the neural mechanisms that supported the convergent evolution of tool use in birds and mammals.



Psychology, tool use, neural mechanisms, neural network, causal reasoning, macaques, corvids

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Frontiers in Psychology

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Frontiers Media S.A.