Coevolution of composite-tool technology, constructive memory, and language: Implications for the evolution of modern human behavior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The evolution of modern human behavior was undoubtedly accompanied by neurological changes that enhanced capacities for innovation in technology, language, and social organization associated with working memory. Constructive memory integrates components of working memory in the medial prefrontal cortex to imagine alternative futures. Enhanced mental time travel permits longrange strategic planning. Within this broadly conceived area of cognitive neuropsychology, I will focus on two stages of the evolution of cognitive faculties for planning. The first involves executing complex sequences of actions involving manufacture of multicomponent artifacts; the second involves enhanced planning through information sharing, which required the establishment of extended regional social interaction networks based on trust and cooperation. Both stages were probably accompanied by important innovations in grammatical speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S135-S147
JournalCurrent Anthropology
Volume51
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology

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