Cognitive Archaeology and Human Evolution

Overview

This book presents new directions in the study of cognitive archaeology. Seeking to understand the conditions that led to the development of a variety of cognitive processes during evolution, it uses evidence from empirical studies and offers theoretical speculations about the evolution of modern thinking as well. The volume draws from the fields of archaeology and neuropsychology, which traditionally have shared little in the way of theories and methods, even though both disciplines provide crucial pieces to the...
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Overview

This book presents new directions in the study of cognitive archaeology. Seeking to understand the conditions that led to the development of a variety of cognitive processes during evolution, it uses evidence from empirical studies and offers theoretical speculations about the evolution of modern thinking as well. The volume draws from the fields of archaeology and neuropsychology, which traditionally have shared little in the way of theories and methods, even though both disciplines provide crucial pieces to the puzzle of the emergence and evolution of human cognition. The twelve essays, written by an international team of scholars, represent an eclectic array of interests, methods, and theories about evolutionary cognitive archaeology. Collectively, they consider whether the processes in the development of human cognition simply made a better use of anatomical and cerebral structures already in place at the beginning of hominization. They also consider the possibility of an active role of hominoids in their own development and query the impact of hominoid activity in the emergence of new cognitive abilities.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521746113
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/22/2009
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Sophie A. de Beaune is professor of prehistory at Jean Moulin University Lyon 3 and researcher at CNRS in France. The author of eight books, most recently L'Homme et l'Outil: L'Invention technique durant la Préhistoire, she is also director of a book series entitled 'Le passé recomposé' at CNRS Editions.

Frederick L. Coolidge is professor of psychology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He has published extensively in behavioral genetics, neuropsychology, psychopathology assessment, and cognitive archaeology, with recent articles in Cambridge Archaeological Journal, the Journal of Human Evolution, and Journal of Archaeological Research, among others.

Thomas Wynn is professor of anthropology at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He has published extensively on the evolution of human cognition, culminating in a target article in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, published in 2002.

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Table of Contents

1. The emergence of cognitive abilities: the contribution of neuropsychology to archaeology Sophie A. de Beaune; 2. Technical invention in the Paleolithic: what if the answer comes from the cognitive and neuropsychological sciences? Sophie A. de Beaune; 3. Innovation and creativity: a neuropsychological perspective Andreas Kyriacou; 4. The archaeology of consciousness Matt Rossano; 5. Prehistoric handedness and prehistoric language Natalie Uomini; 6. How to think a simple spear Miriam Haidle; 7. Long-term memory and middle Pleistocene 'mysterians' Michael J. Walker; 8. The quest for a common semantics: observations on definitional criteria of cognitive processes in prehistory Carolina Maestro and Carmine Collina; 9. Cognition and the emergence of language: a contribution from lithic technology Jacques Pelegrin; 10. Language and the origin of symbolic thought Ian Tattersall; 11. Implications of a strict standard for recognizing modern cognition in the Paleolithic Thomas Wynn and Frederick L. Coolidge; 12. Imagination and recursion: issues in the emergence of language Eric Reuland; 13. Whither evolutionary cognitive archaeology? Thomas Wynn.
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