It occured to me the other day that if someone draws a somewhat abstract picture of an object or animal (like a cartoon drawing), the majority of people are capable of recognising it as what it was intended to be, even though it bares little similarity. Look at this picture: http://www.rainingdaisies.com/Cat cartoon.jpg Most people I think would agree that it shows two cats, one with a mouse on its tail, even though cats look very little like that. Is this a learned response, or one inbuilt to the human brain? Would someone familiar with cats who had never seen any form of cartoon drawing be able to identify them? I think its safe to say this kind of recognition has been around in humans for a while, as early ones left cave paintings. Furthermore, are animals capable of recognising abstract representations like we are? I do wonder what implications the ability to recognise such things and make associations would have on the development of intelligence.