·Cognitive performance is believed to be stimulated by the capacity to use tools. Fundamentally ‘Tool use’ is defined as the manipulation of an object to change the position or form of another object. In 2009, Iriki and his team have followed up their research with Macaque monkeys (large-brained social animals) with training more primitive Degus to use rakes for food collection.
·Experiments showed that given precise experimental controls, rodents can be trained to perform a complex task:
(Initially the use of tool has no purpose [clip01], but after training [clip02] the Degus manage to collect food)
·They concluded that tool use is not resulting from higher intelligence, but is a specific combination of basic cognitive abilities (in this case physical properties such as mass, structure, and friction). I think this could be relevant for how ICT tools should lead to better integrated, more insightful, and more intuitive knowledge in education. It would be interesting if we could study how ‘Computer Simulations’ enhance Inquiry-based learning (de Jong 2006), create interactive visualizations (Lindgren & Schwartz, 2009) and offer multiple representations (Ainsworth, 2006).