Posts Tagged 'technology'

Domesticated bodies

Humans are hypothesized to have undergone a process of self-domestication, associated with reduction of aggressive behavior and enhanced sociability. We have also undergone anatomical changes in our parietal cortex, which is crucial for body cognition and visuospatial integration. In a recent Opinion Paper published in Frontiers in Psychology, Ben Gleeson and I wonder whether these two factors, self-domestication and body cognition, may have reciprocal influences, or even share some evolutionary mechanisms. A first likely bridge is our heightened use of technology, which is strictly associated with our body-tool prosthetic capacity and with our special life-cycle (adolescence and creativity, longevity, post-reproductive stages, etc.). The concept of “tool” is considered, in this article, through functional and cognitive parameters. A second connection is the social system, because body cognition and the association cortex affect group size and social skills based on egocentric perspectives. Neural plasticity could represent an important organic link between these anatomical and behavioral aspects. The article is part of a volume dedicated to Self-Domestication and Human Evolution.

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Visuospatial behaviours

After the perspective paper on visuospatial cognition and human evolution, and the review on visuospatial integration and the fossil record, we have now published a review article on visuospatial behaviors in archaeology. Here, we introduce and discuss parietal cortex evolution, embodiment, tool use and tool making, wayfinding, and the association between physical, chronological, and social spaces. A main target of cognitive archaeology is to test whether modern human cognition is due to a specific prosthetic capacity that enhances the functional relationships between body and technology, offloading brain functions and outsourcing information process to the enviroment. Something similar happens to … spiders! This chapter is part of a book dedicated to the Evolution of Primate Social Cognition (Springer).


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RSS Cognitive archaeology

  • NEANDERTAL COGNITION OFFERED ONLINE NOW AT THE CENTER FOR COGNITIVE ARCHAEOLOGY @ UCCS
    How did Neandertals experience their world? How did their cognition and culture differ from ours? Were they pragmatic? Callous or cold-hearted? Did they love, were they charitable? Were they tough? Dogmatic? Xenophobic? Join Professors Thomas Wynn and James Hicks for our online course in the Neandertal Cognition. Together, we will explore the mind of some … […]

RSS The Skull Box

  • Anatomical Network Analysis
    Today we launch a new research line in our lab: Anatomical Network Analysis. Networks are employed in almost any field, to investigate patterns and levels of organization within different kinds of systems. In neuroanatomy, networks are frequently used to analyze connections. Anatomical Network Analysis, instead, applies network thinking and methods to macros […]

RSS Anthropology

  • Seven Million Years of Human Evolution
    This fascinating visual presentation from the American Museum of Natural History outlines what we know about human evolution by combining …Continue reading →

RSS Human Evolution

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RSS Neurophilosophy

  • Researchers develop non-invasive deep brain stimulation method
    Researchers at MIT have developed a new method of electrically stimulating deep brain tissues without opening the skullSince 1997, more than 100,000 Parkinson’s Disease patients have been treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS), a surgical technique that involves the implantation of ultra-thin wire electrodes. The implanted device, sometimes referred to as […]

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