Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Thought without language - metacognition in Animals

The Dec. 15 issue of The New Scientist has an interesting article by Helen Philips, "The Known Unknown," about game playing in monkeys and dolphins that sheds light on their 'thinking about thinking' , knowing what they don't know - which appears to be a key step on the transition to full consciousnes. Here is a nice graphic from that article. (Click on the graphic to enlarge it).


  1. Every day we come a little closer to realizing we're not so different from any one animal. How does the idea of human soul play into this new scheme?

  2. If you define soul as non-material, then I don't address it, because I take what we experience to be soul as an emergent property of our physical brain, just like our "I" or self model.

  3. Anonymous3:13 PM

    How is this stating that we think without langugae.

  4. I don't subscribe to New Scientist. I am interested, though. Ants show signs of metacognition, as stated in the last paragraph of this blog post: