Books  Zoology  Mammals  Primates 

Reaching into Thought: The Minds of the Great Apes

Includes information on all four great apes – chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans
Shows how great apes show features of intelligence once thought to be only human – sheds light on our own evolution
Stellar cast of contributors with expertise in both field and captive animal studies

By: Anne E Russon (Editor), Kim A Bard (Editor), Sue Taylor Parker (Editor)

464 pages, b/w photos, illustrations, tables

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Nov 1998 | #86566 | ISBN: 0521644968
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £49.99 $61/€56 approx
Hardback | Aug 1996 | #50870 | ISBN: 0521471680
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £113.00 $138/€127 approx

About this book

What special qualities of mind set the great apes apart from other nonhuman primates, and indeed from ourselves? In Reaching into Thought, field and laboratory researchers show that the great apes have high level abilities in both social and ecological domains, including tool use, pretense, self-awareness, deception, consolation, teaching and culture itself. Great apes are also shown to be capable of thinking at symbolic levels, traditionally considered to be uniquely human. Here, the mechanisms involved in building these abilities – especially the lengthy developmental and 'enculturation' processes – are emphasized, showing how new discoveries are changing views on how primates and human intelligence evolved. Reaching into Thought is for anyone interested in current research and theoretical views of great ape cognition.

"[...] excellent chapters [...] based on both captive and field experiments."
– Craig B. Stanford, The Quarterly Review of Biology

"Recommended for any researcher interested in the study of great ape cognition, and all college and university libraries."
– N. Krusko, Choice

"Reaching into Thought is a useful reference, particularly for readers with a background in the behaviour of apes and/or in the theoretical issues surrounding comparative investigations of intelligence [...] nicely produced, with many good illustrations."
– Christine M. Fillion, and Dorothy M. Fragaszy, University of Georgia, Athens

"[...] this fine book should be considered mandatory reading for all cognitive archaeologists."
– Kathleen Gibson, Cambridge Archaeological Journal

"In addition to containing some truly wonderful individual articles, taken as a whole, it serves an important role by accurately reflecting the present status of cognitive primatology as it pertains to Great Apes."
– Debbie Custance, Primate Eye

"[...] the book taps all the right channels of current interest, every evolutionary cognitive science should buy it and maybe teach a seminar using it."
– W. C. McGrew


1. Exploring the minds of the great apes: Issues and controversies Anne E. Russon and Kim A. Bard

Part I. The Scope of Great Ape Intelligence:
2. Chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys: Comparative cognition James R. Anderson
3. Acting and understanding: tool use revisited through the minds of capuchin monkeys Elisabetta Visalberghi and Luca Limongelli
4. Consolation, reconciliation, and a possible cognitive difference between macaques and chimpanzees Frans B.M. de Waal and Filippo Aureli
5. The misunderstood ape: Cognitive skills of the gorilla Richard W. Byrne
6. Ostensive behavior in great apes: the role of eye contact Juan Carlos Gomez
7. Imitation in everyday use: matching and rehearsal in the spontaneous imitation of rehabilitant orangutans Anne E. Russon
8. 'More is less': the elicitation of rule-governed resource distribution in chimpanzees Sarah T. Boysen
9. Tool-using behavior in wild Pan paniscus: Social and ecological considerations Ellen J. Ingmanson
10. Comparison of chimpanzee material culture between Bossou and Nimba, West Africa Tetsuro Matsuzawa and Gen Yamakoshi

Part II. Organization of Great Ape Intelligence: Development, Culture and Evolution:
11. Influences on development in infant chimpanzees: Enculturation, temperament and cognition Kim A. Bard and Kathryn H. Gardner
12. Heterochrony and the evolution of primate cognitive development Jonas Langer
13. Simon says: The development of imitation in an enculturated orangutan H. Lyn Miles, Robert W. Mitchell and Stephen E. Harper
14. Imitation, pretense, and mindreading: secondary representation in comparative primatology and developmental psychology? Andrew Whiten
15. Self-awareness and self-knowledge in humans, apes and monkeys Daniel Hart and Mary Pat Karmel
16. Apprenticeship in tool-mediated extractive foraging: the origins of imitation, teaching and self-awareness in great apes Sue Taylor Parker
17. The effect of humans on the cognitive development of apes Josep Call and Michael Tomasello
18. Three approaches for assessing chimpanzee culture Christophe Boesch
19. On the wild side of culture and cognition in the great apes Sue Taylor Parker and Anne E. Russon


Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!



- James R. Anderson
- Filippo Aureli
- Kim A. Bard
- Christophe Boesch
- Sarah T. Boysen
- Richard W. Byrne
- Josep Call
- Frans B. de Waal
- Kathryn H. Gardner
- Juan Carlos Gómez
- Stephen E. Harper
- Daniel Hart
- Ellen J. Ingmanson
- Mary Pat Karmel
- Jonas Langer
- Luca Limongelli
- Tetsuro Matsuzawa
- H. Lyn Miles
- Robert W. Mitchell
- Sue Taylor Parker
- Anne E. Russon
- Michael Tomasello
- Elisabetta Visalberghi
- Andrew Whiten
- Gen Yamakoshi

Bestsellers in this subject

Primates of the World

NHBS Price: £19.95 $24/€22 approx

Lemurs of Madagascar

NHBS Price: £34.99 $43/€39 approx

Primates of Vietnam

NHBS Price: £49.99 $61/€56 approx

Handbook of the Mammals of the World, Volume 3: Primates

NHBS Price: £134.99 $165/€151 approx