In 'The Gap', psychologist Thomas Suddendorf provides a definitive account of the mental qualities that separate humans from other animals, as well as how these differences arose. Drawing on two decades of research on apes, children, and human evolution, he surveys the abilities most often cited as uniquely human — language, intelligence, morality, culture, theory of mind, and mental time travel. Suddendorf concludes with the provocative suggestion that the gap is becoming wider not just because we are becoming smarter but also because we are making ourselves appear more special by reducing the capacities of our closest living relatives – by causing their extinction.
'Sweeping, sharply argued and exceptionally entertaining, it tells a story that may turn out to be one of the great scientific discoveries of the century...a veritable eye-opener'- Endel Tulving
'Beautifully written, well researched and thought provoking...I found it fascinating and strongly recommend it to everyone who is curious as to how we have evolved to become the dominant species in the world today. Thank you Thomas Suddendorf for writing this book' - Jane Goodall
Thomas Suddendorf is a professor in the School of Psychology at UQ. The Gap is his first trade book.