Proofs of parallel evolution between cognition, tool development, and social complexity

ScienceDaily | 3/8/2019 | Staff
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"We hypothesised that culture and social life influence cognition in a highly stereotyped fashion. Eye movements are the most objective proof of a parallel evolution between the cognitive process, material development and changes in social complexity," explains CSIC researcher Felipe Criado-Boado, from the Institute of Heritage Sciences, in Santiago de Compostela. This study is part of the field of neuroarchaeology, a new scientific field that combines neuroscience with human palaeontology, archaeology, and other social and human sciences.

"The visual prominence of each ceramic style produces a distinct visual response. Prehistoric ceramics comprise an important part of the material world that surrounded the individuals of that time. This is why an analysis of this kind is not only feasible, but also provides very significant results," adds Criado-Boado.

Luis - M - Martínez - Researcher - Institute

Luis M. Martínez, a researcher from the Institute of Neurosciences, in Alicante, explains that, "in our brain there are neural circuits, or maps, that represent our personal and peripersonal space. These circuits determine the way in which we relate socially, and also with the world around us. With experiments of this kind, we are demonstrating that these representations are modified by the use and making of tools and other cultural artefacts; what we are discovering is that they are quickly incorporated into these neural maps, becoming part of our body schema as if they were an extension of it. These experiments unequivocally demonstrate that there is a very close interaction between cultural changes and brain plasticity, which...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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