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Title: Visuospatial integration and hand-tool interaction in cognitive archaeology
Authors: Bruner, Emiliano
Fedato, Annapaola
Silva-Gago, María
Alonso Alcalde, Rodrigo
Terradillos Bernal, Marcos
Fernández-Durantes, María Ángeles
Martín-Guerra, Elena
Keywords: Electrodermal activity;Grasping pattern;Human evolution;Neuroarchaeology;Parietal lobes;Tool shape;Visuospatial integration
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Processes of visuospatial attention and working memory, 2019, 13-36
Series/Report no.: Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences;41
Abstract: Testing cognitive hypotheses in extinct species can be challenging, but it can be done through the integration of independent sources of information (e.g., anatomy, archaeology, neurobiology, psychology), and validated with quantitative and experimental approaches. The parietal cortex has undergone changes and specializations in humans, probably in regions involved in visuospatial integration. Visual imagery and hand-eye coordination are crucial for a species with a remarkable technological and symbolic capacity. Hand-tool relationships are not only a matter of spatial planning but involve deeper cognitive levels that concern body cognition, self-awareness, and the ability to integrate tools into body schemes, extending the body’s functional and structural range. Therefore, a co-evolution between body and technology is to be expected not only in terms of anatomical correspondence but also in terms of cognitive integration. In prehistory, lithic tools are crucial in the interpretation of the cognitive abilities of extinct human species. The shape of tools and the grasping patterns associated with the corresponding haptic experience can supply some basic quantitative approaches to evaluate changes in the archaeological record. At the physiological level, electrodermal activity can be used as proxy to investigate the cognitive response during haptic experiences, revealing differences between tools and between subjects. These approaches can be also useful to evaluate whether and to what extent our complex cognitive resources are based on the capacity to export and delegate functions to external technological components.
ISBN: 978-3-030-31025-7
DOI: 10.1007/7854_2018_71
Editor version:
Type: Book chapter
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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