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Annu Rev Psychol. 2007;58:97-118.

Causal cognition in human and nonhuman animals: a comparative, critical review.

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Cognitive Evolution Group, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Louisiana 70504, USA.


In this article, we review some of the most provocative experimental results to have emerged from comparative labs in the past few years, starting with research focusing on contingency learning and finishing with experiments exploring nonhuman animals' understanding of causal-logical relations. Although the theoretical explanation for these results is often inchoate, a clear pattern nevertheless emerges. The comparative evidence does not fit comfortably into either the traditional associationist or inferential alternatives that have dominated comparative debate for many decades now. Indeed, the similarities and differences between human and nonhuman causal cognition seem to be much more multifarious than these dichotomous alternatives allow.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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