Thinking Tools. With Cognigrams from Reconstructions and Interpretations to Models about Tool Behavior

Haidle Miriam Noël
Stolarcsyk Regine
Language of the article : English
DOI: 10.3406/intel.2020.1967
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In the study of cultural and cognitive evolution, the diverse expressions of tool behavior in animals, hominins and humans are of central interest. To compare different performances between varying contexts and species and with a developmental perspective, they have to be translated from different formats of documentation to a common standard. Cognigrams systematically encode reconstructions of perception-and-action sequences for tool behavior providing contextualized, detailed procedural understanding of the associated techno-behaviors. In principle, every form of behavioral performance can be coded in cognigrams: observed in humans or animals living today as well as preserved in archaeological remains. Here, we explain the elements and structural organization of cognigrams and show the potential of the method in different perspectives on tool behavior and the comparison of performances between species and/or contexts of use. The detailed reconstruction of behavioral architectures in cognigrams represents a metatool to reflect on tool behavior and provides a powerful basis for inferences about prehistoric cognition. To clarify the range of research questions, to which the cognigram approach can be reasonably applied, its limits are discussed, and future prospects conceived. Examining tool behavior with the cognigram approach supports focused discussion of many aspects in cultural and cognitive evolution.

Pour citer cet article :

Haidle Miriam Noël, Stolarcsyk Regine (2020/2). Thinking Tools. With Cognigrams from Reconstructions and Interpretations to Models about Tool Behavior. In A. de Beaune Sophie (Eds), Emergence and evolution of human cognition, Intellectica, 73, (pp.107-132), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2020.1967.