Enel et al at the INSERM in France investigate one of the most noteworthy properties of primate behavior, its diversity and adaptability. Human and non-human primates can learn an astonishing variety of novel behaviors that could not have been directly anticipated by evolution — we now understand that this ability to cope with new situations is due to the “pre-adapted” nature of the primate brain.
… This breakthrough shows that we have taken big step towards understanding the local recurrent connectivity in the brain that prepares primates to face unlimited situations. This research shows that by allowing essentially unlimited combinations of internal representations in the network of the brain, one of them is always on hand for the given situation. More. Paper. (public access) – Enel P, Procyk E, Quilodran R, Dominey PF. Reservoir Computing Properties of Neural Dynamics in Prefrontal Cortex. PLoS Comput Biol, 2016 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.pcbi.1004967
Okay. Right. Just happened. You can come out with your hands up if you want—but you don’t need to. You can join the line for coffee and stew beef with biscuits. And, fundamentally, no one cares.
Note: Big weakness: The thesis doesn’t explain why apes are not entering the “Stone Age”.
See also: Are apes entering the Stone Age?
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