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The importance of comparative psychology for developmental science [Review Article]

Liebal, K., & Haun, D. B. M. (2012). The importance of comparative psychology for developmental science [Review Article]. International Journal of Developmental Science, 6, 21-23. doi:10.3233/DEV-2012-11088.
The aim of this essay is to elucidate the relevance of cross-species comparisons for the investigation of human behavior and its development. The focus is on the comparison of human children and another group of primates, the non-human great apes, with special attention to their cognitive skills. Integrating a comparative and developmental perspective, we argue, can provide additional answers to central and elusive questions about human behavior in general and its development in particular: What are the heritable predispositions of the human mind? What cognitive traits are uniquely human? In this sense, Developmental Science would benefit from results of Comparative Psychology.
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.


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