Posts Tagged 'cognitive archaeology'

Laterality in Tarragona

Laterality 2013There is a congress on Laterality in Tarragona (Spain), on February 11-13. The meeting is organized by Natalie Uomini (University of Liverpool) and Marina Lozano (Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social – IPHES). Speakers will present talks in anthropology, primatology, archaeology, paleontology, and cognitive sciences. Posters are welcome. The meeting will also include a visit to the Mona Foundation, a recovery centre for primates.

Trees and ladders

One of the best things on cognitive archaeology is that it is providing different perspectives. Marco Langbroek in a recent paper entitled “Trees and ladders” evidences that while paleontology and archaeology rely nowadays on branching schemes, cognitive theories are still linear, forcing interpretations along a straight worst-to-better axis of improvement. Non-human primates are still used as the negative pole of such vector, and modern human behaviour as the positive one. First, cognitive theories should rethink such linear perspective, acknowledging the paleontological and archaeological evidence. Second, despite we shouldn’t neglect the complexity of modern cognition, we may wonder if other human species could have had specific cognitive skills. As a matter of fact, because human evolution was composed by different independent lineages, extinct taxa can have had species-specific cognitive abilities that we have lost, or even never had.

Neandertal learning

An international conference will be held in Tokyo (18-24 November, 2012) entitled “Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans: Testing Evolutionary Models of Learning”. The meeting is associated with a very large multidisciplinary project aimed at considering Neandertal cognition, evolution, and extinction, in terms of learning capabilities. Anatomists, archaeologists, paleontologists, psychologists, and many specialists from other fields will meet to discuss cognitive differences between modern humans and Neandertals, most of all those possibly involved in the transmission of culture.

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Numerosity

There is a very comprehensive review on numerosity and cognitive archaeology by Coolidge and Overmann, in Current Anthropology: numerosity, abstraction, and the emergence of symbolic thinking. The authors propose that numerosity may be a key feature of human brain evolution, integrating information from neuroscience, paleontology, and archaeology. A network based on the integration between frontal and parietal areas may underlie the ability to manage numbers, abstract thinking, language, and metaphor production. The hypothesis is commented by psychologists, archaeologists, neuroanatomists, neurobiologists, and paleontologists.


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RSS Cognitive archaeology

  • DECODING MIMBRES PAINTING
    This extended abstract represents a summary introduction to a work in progress, which will culminate in a publication and exhibition at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2018. It briefly outlines our discoveries and interpretations, which will be more fully presented, referenced and discussed in the forthcoming catalog. This presentation is available f […]

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  • Craniovascular traits
    This month we have published a review on craniovascular traits and anthropology, freely available to download from the Journal of Anthropological Sciences. The article describes many vascular traits that can be analyzed on skulls, through the traces they leave on the bone surface or within the bone itself. The traces of the middle meningeal vessels, […]

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  • How to become a super memorizer – and what it does to your brain
    New research shows that we can train our brains to become memory champions To many of us, having to memorize a long list of items feels like a chore. But for others, it is more like a sport. Every year, hundreds of these ‘memory athletes’ compete with one another in the World Memory Championships, memorising hundreds of words, numbers, or other pieces of inf […]

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