Further Reading

The evolutionary origins of human patience: temporal preferences in chimpanzees, bonobos, and human adults.

To make adaptive choices, individuals must sometimes exhibit patience, forgoing immediate benefits to acquire more valuable future rewards [1-3]. Although humans account for future consequences when making temporal decisions [4], many animal species wait only a few seconds for delayed benefits [5-10]. Current research thus suggests a phylogenetic gap between patient humans and impulsive, present-oriented animals [9, 11], a distinction with implications for our understanding of economic decision making [12] and the origins of human cooperation [13]. On the basis of a series of experimental results, we reject this conclusion. First, bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) exhibit a degree of patience not seen in other animals tested thus far. Second, humans are less willing to wait for food rewards than are chimpanzees. Third, humans are more willing to wait for monetary rewards than for food, and show the highest degree of patience only in response to decisions about money involving low opportunity costs. These findings suggest that core components of the capacity for future-oriented decisions evolved before the human lineage diverged from apes. Moreover, the different levels of patience that humans exhibit might be driven by fundamental differences in the mechanisms representing biological versus abstract rewards.
lots of reading to do.


Busy day yesterday. Leaves me with lots of dots to join. The most surprising was in relation to fishing poles.

Lesson I learned to look for external clues in a script. In this case from the stage directions and props. A high energy, frenetic figure, reaches for a fishing pole.

the investment of time and energy in pursuit of an uncertian outcome

We now learn he is not simply prowling animated about the stage but has a high level of patience. This alters both movement and mind.

I now seem to have a potential scientific answer for such behavioural patterns, gaps here particularly in relation to human cognition so it is still at the theory stage.

Patience is associated with risk taking and in turn associated with ‘ecological intelligence’

The lesson here would be in identifying ‘ecological characteristics’ to open the character and text.

I can steal lots of terms and make it look like it’s science! I like that.

What I can do is put the science in a very different context I am more familiar with, kick it about and see what it does.

I can also hope that research here moves forward with more focus on human cognition.

Little work has examined human future-oriented cognition in foraging contexts.

Work on human cognition will further test the ecological hypothesis.

More importantly for me it helps me understand the relationship between elves fauns and fairies in late 17th century thought and gives me a wider window into ideas about fish and fishing poles (I suspect the translation for this term may be ecological intelligence).



A.G. Rosati, Foraging Cognition: Reviving the Ecological Intelligence Hypothesis, Trends In Cognitive Science, Sept. 2017, Vol.2, No.9

Bread & The Raven

As birds and Beasts whose bodies are much used to the change of the free and open air, forsee stormes, so those invisible people are more sagacious to understand by the Book of Nature things to come, then wee, who are pester’d with grosser dregs of all elementary mixtures and have our purer spirits choaked by them. The deer scents out a man and powder (tho a late invention) at a great distance; a hungry hunter, bread; and the raven, a carrion: their brains being long clarified by the high high and subtil air, will observe a vierie small change in a trice. Thus a man of second sight perceiving the operations of forecasting invisible people among us (indulg’d thorow a stupendous providence to give warnings of some remarkable events, either in the Air, Earth or Waters) told he saw a winding-shroud creep up on a walking healthfull persons legs, till it came up to the middle, then to the shoulders, and last over the head, which was visible to no other person.”


Robert Kirk, The Secret Commonwealth or a treatise displaying the chief curiosities of Scotland as they are used to this day.

Gaps Questions and Issues

The final gap concerns the unique aspects of human cognition. While many views on human uniqueness focus on the special nature of human sociality, I have emphasized that humans also stand out among primates in terms of ecological niche. Moreover, many aspects of human social behavior- like food sharing and cooperation-serve an ecological function  and many social capacities-like cultural transmission-are used to acquire ecological relevant skills. In this sense human cognitive uniqueness may be best conceptualized as a suite of capacities cutting across psychological domains. This perspective aligns with theories from cognative science proposing that unique components of human cognition stem from novel interconnections between different abilities……….

…………..Hunting, foraging, and food sharing all necessarily require the smooth integration of multiple cognitive capacities spanning both the social and the ecological domain.


A.G. Rosati, Foraging Cognition: Reviving the Ecologiical Intelligence Hypothesis, Trends In Cognative Science, Sept. 2017, Vol.2, No.9



Spatial memory

The ability to recall the location of resources and navigate efficiently between then is a key component of complex foraging behaviours, and memory of representational ‘map’ of space is a key component of complex foraging behaviors. However not all foods impose the same demands on memory, as some are more spatially dispersed than others.

Value Based Decision Making

All foraging behaviours necessarily involve decisions about value: given all the available alternatives, what is the best course of action? Two foundational components of decision-making are intertemporal choices concerning tradeoffs between time costs and the value of rewards and risky choices concerning tradeoffs between expected value and the probability of different outcomes. Such decisions are sometimes called ‘self-control’ or impulsive problems, but value-based preferences may also be tailored to particular environmental contexts. There is emerging evidence to suggest that ecological features that vary with primate- memory- diet and home range size- also shape preferences about value.

Executive Control

Executive functions are a suite of cognitive processes that allow individuals to flexible control their behavior overriding reflexive responses that would otherwise be performed automatically. This includes several capacities for self-regulation, such as inhibiting inappropriate motor responses, reactively in new situations, and updating behavioral strategies. While some proposals have highlighted the potential of social systems in shaping executive functions recent work has revealed a strong connection with ecological niche……..

Another component of executive control concerns reactivity to novel contexts: do individuals seek out or avoid new aspects of the environment or new social partners?


A.G. Rosati, Foraging Cognition: Reviving the Ecologiical Intelligence Hypothesis, Trends In Cognative Science, Sept. 2017, Vol.2, No.9