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Tool use, gesture and the evolution of language

A special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B entitled "From action to language: comparative perspective on primate tool use, gesture and the evolution of human language" edited by James Steele, Pier Francesco Ferrari and Leonardo Fogassi"The papers in this Special Issue examine tool use and manual gestures in primates as a window on the evolution of the human capacity for language. Neurophysiological research has supported the hypothesis of a close association between some aspects of human action organization and of language representation, in both phonology and semantics. Tool use provides an excellent experimental context to investigate analogies between action organization and linguistic syntax. Contributors report and contextualize experimental evidence from monkeys, great apes, humans and fossil hominins, and consider the nature and the extent of overlaps between the neural representations of tool use, manual gestures and linguistic processes." For the table of contents,

 Table of Contents:

James Steele, Pier Francesco Ferrari, and Leonardo Fogassi : "Introduction: From action to language: comparative perspectives on primate tool use, gesture and the evolution of human language"

Atsushi Iriki and Miki Taoka : "Review article: Triadic (ecological, neural, cognitive) niche construction: a scenario of human brain evolution extrapolating tool use and language from the control of reaching actions"

S. Macellini, M. Maranesi, L. Bonini, L. Simone, S. Rozzi, P. F. Ferrari,and L. Fogassi: "Research article: Individual and social learning processes involved in the acquisition and generalization of tool use in macaques"

William D. Hopkins, Jamie L. Russell, and Jennifer A. Schaeffer: "Research article: The neural and cognitive correlates of aimed throwing in chimpanzees: a magnetic resonance image and behavioural study on a unique form of social tool use"

Scott H. Frey and Daniel J. Povinelli! "Research article: Comparative investigations of manual action representations: evidence that chimpanzees represent the costs of potential future actions involving tools"

Blandine Bril, Jeroen Smaers, James Steele, Robert Rein, Tetsushi Nonaka, Gilles Dietrich, Elena Biryukova, Satoshi Hirata, and Valentine Roux: "Research article: Functional mastery of percussive technology in nut-cracking and stone-flaking actions: experimental comparison and implications for the evolution of the human brain"

Dietrich Stout and Thierry Chaminade: "Review article: Stone tools, language and the brain in human evolution"

Anna Barney, Sandra Martelli, Antoine Serrurier, and James Steele: "Research article: Articulatory capacity of Neanderthals, a very recent and human-like fossil hominin"

Katerina Pastra and Yiannis Aloimonos: "Research article: The minimalist grammar of action"

Katja Liebal and Josep Call: "Review article: The origins of non-human primates' manual gestures"

Erica A. Cartmill, Sian Beilock, and Susan Goldin-Meadow: "Review article: A word in the hand: action, gesture and mental representation in humans and non-human primates"

Agnes Roby-Brami, Joachim Hermsdörfer, Alice C. Roy, and Stéphane Jacobs: "Review article: A neuropsychological perspective on the link between language and praxis in modern humans"