What Is Challenging About Tool Use? The Capuchin’s Perspective

Elisabetta Visalberghi and Dorothy Fragaszy

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Cognition

Second edition

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392661
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 What Is Challenging About Tool Use? The Capuchin’s Perspective

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Show Summary Details


Capuchin monkeys (genus Cebus) are the most adept and frequent users of tools among monkeys. This chapter uses capuchins as a vehicle to discuss tool use in nonhuman primates. After providing some background on capuchins and an overview of the forms and contexts of tool use commonly observed in this genus, we discuss these studies focusing on the number and kind of relations among object, substrate, and actions with an object that capuchins used to achieve a goal. Capuchins learn to use tools in much the same way that other species do. Understanding how they learn to use tools, and the aspects of using tools that challenge them, gives a new understanding of tool use in our own species as well as other species of nonhuman animals.

Keywords: tool use; capuchin monkeys; learning; action-perception theory; stone tool use

Article.  15308 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.