The comparative study of behavior and cognition in human and nonhuman primates enables to better understand developmental, cognitive and adaptive processes in the different species. The comparative study of cognition and behavior also allows further insight into major switching points in the phylogeny of primates. We put special emphasis on examining the processes by which primates acquire and process information coming from physical and social stimuli. In particular, we examine what kind of information is picked up, what factors facilitate acquisition of new behaviors, and the cognitive and social processes underlying the transmission of new behaviors in nonhuman primates. Finally, we compare our findings with related ones in the child literature.