Jonas Langer
Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Clark University
Research Interests: 
Cognitive development in infancy and early childhood; primate cognitive development and evolution
  • whatshotResearch Description

    My research on the evolution and development of cognition in human and nonhuman primates is currently expanding from two- to three-pronged. The first is on the origins and development of physical (e.g., causal), logical (e.g., classificatory), arithmetic (e.g., numerical) cognition in humans from early infancy on. The second is on the comparative development of these cognitions in humans, chimpanzees, and monkeys. The third, which is entirely new and just beginning, comprises computer simulation experiments to investigate and model aspects of the evolution, origins and development of cognition that cannot be studied in real time with real subjects. 

  • placeSelected Publications

    Langer, J. (1969). Theories of Development. New York: Holt, Reinhart, & Winston.

    Langer, J. (1980). The Origins of Logic: Six to Twelve Months. New York: Academic Press.

    Langer, J. (1986). The Origins of Logic: One to Two Years. New York: Academic Press.

    Schlesinger, M. & Langer, J. (1999). Infants' developing expectations of possible and impossible tool-use events between ages 8 and 12 months. Developmental Science, 2, 196-206.

    Rivera, S.M., Wakeley, A. & Langer, J. (1999). The drawbridge phenomenon: Representational reasoning or perceptual preference. Developmental Psychology, 35, 427-435.

    Poti, P., Langer, J., Savage-Rumbaugh, s. & Brakke, K.E. (1999). Spontaneous logicomathematical constructions by chimpanzees (Pan trogladytes, Pan paniscus). Animal Cognition, 2, 147-156

    Spinozzi, G., Natale, F., Langer, J. & Brakke, K.E. (1999). Spontaneous class grouping behavior by bonobos (Pan paniscus) and common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Animal Cognition, 2, 157-170.

    Spinozzi, G., & Langer, J. (1999). Spontaneous classification in action by a human-enculturated and language-reared bonobo (Pan paniscus) and common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 113, 286-296.

    Langer, J. (2000). The descent of cognitive development. Developmental Science, 3, 361-378.

    Langer, J., Rivera, S., Schlesinger, M., & Wakeley, A. (2003). Early cognitive development: Ontogeny and phylogeny. In J. Valsiner & K. Connoly (Eds.), Hanbook of Development Psychology. London: Sage.

    Langer, J., Gillette, P., & Arriage, R. (2003). Toddlers' development of adding and subtracting objects. Cognitive Development, 18, 233-246.

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