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Evolving Insight - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Evolving Insight

Richard W. Byrne


This book develops a new theory of the evolutionary origins of human abilities to understand the world of objects and other people: the evolution of mind. Defining mental representation and computation as “insight,” it reviews the evidence for insight in the cognition of animals. Communication by vocalization and gesture, understanding others, and learning from them all provide evidence that such insight is not unique to humans, but is found also in apes and several other animal taxa. Neocortical change, driven by social complexity, relates to quantitative increase in sophisticated tactics but ... More

Keywords: evolution of mind, mental representation, mental computation, hierarchical structure, imitation, statistical regularities, behavior parsing, causality, intentionality, language

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198757078
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198757078.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard W. Byrne, author
School of Psychology, University of St Andrews, Scotland