Semendeferi, K., Lu, A., Schenker, N., & Damasio, H. (2002). Humans and great apes share a large frontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 5(3), 272-276.
Some of the outstanding cognitive capabilities of humans are commonly attributed to a disproportionate enlargement of the human frontal lobe during evolution. This claim is based primarily on comparisons between the brains of humans and of other primates, to the exclusion of most great apes. We compared the relative size of the frontal cortices in living specimens of several primate species, including all extant hominoids, using magnetic resonance imaging. Human frontal cortices were not disproportionately large in comparison to those of the great apes. We suggest that the special cognitive abilities attributed to a frontal advantage may be due to differences in individual cortical areas and to a richer interconnectivity, none of which required an increase in the overall relative size of the frontal lobe during hominid evolution.
Inoue-Nakamura, N., & Matsuzawa, T. (1997). Development of stone tool use by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 111(2), 159-173.
At the age of 3.5 years, wild chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea, begin to use hammer and anvil stones to crack oil-palm nuts to get the kernels. To clarify the developmental processes, the authors did a field experiment in which stones and oil-palm nuts were provided. Infant chimpanzees' stone-nut manipulation was observed and video recorded. Data were collected from 3 infants younger than 4 years old from 1992 to 1995. The authors analyzed 692 episodes of infants' stone-nut manipulation and 150 episodes of infants' observation of nut cracking performed by adults. Infants observed other chimpanzees' nut cracking and got the kernels from them. The stone-nut manipulation developed from a single action on a single object to multiple actions on multiple objects. Although infant chimpanzees at the age of 2.5 years already acquired basic actions necessary for nut cracking, they did not combine the actions in an appropriate sequence to perform actual nut cracking.
Redshaw, M. (1978) Cognitive Development in Human and Gorilla Infants. Journal of Human Evolution, 7, 133-141
During the first 18 months of life, gorilla and human infants follow much the same course of psychological development, but the non-humans emark on this sooner, and generally finish sooner. Exceptions to this arise in areas of reciprocal and constructive play with objects, for here, the human subjects excelled and the gorillas appeared to be uninterested.