The conscious experience of insight is notoriously difficult to trace in non-verbal animals. Although studying insight has presented a significant challenge even to neurobiology and psychology, human neuroimaging studies have cleared the theoretical landscape, as they have begun to reveal the underlying mechanisms.
The study of insight in non-human animals has, in contrast, remained limited to innovative adjustments to experimental designs within the classical approach of judging cognitive processes in animals, based on task performance. This leaves no apparent possibility of ending debates from different interpretations emerging from conflicting schools of thought. We believe that comparative cognition has thus much to gain by embracing advances from neuroscience and human cognitive psychology. We will review literature on insight (mainly human) and discuss the consequences of these findings to comparative cognition.
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