Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Cognitive Archeology and the Attentional System: An Evolutionary Mismatch for the Genus Homo
Authors: Bruner, Emiliano
Keywords: Human evolution;Cognitive evolution;Human genus;Parietal cortex;Attention;Stress;Anxiety
Issue Date: Sep-2023
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Journal of Intelligence, 2023, 11(9), 183
Abstract: Brain evolution is a key topic in evolutionary anthropology. Unfortunately, in this sense the fossil record can usually support limited anatomical and behavioral inferences. Nonetheless, information from fossil species is, in any case, particularly valuable, because it represents the only direct proof of cerebral and behavioral changes throughout the human phylogeny. Recently, archeology and psychology have been integrated in the field of cognitive archeology, which aims to interpret current cognitive models according to the evidence we have on extinct human species. In this article, such evidence is reviewed in order to consider whether and to what extent the archeological record can supply information regarding changes of the attentional system in different taxa of the human genus. In particular, behavioral correlates associated with the fronto-parietal system and working memory are employed to consider recent changes in our species, Homo sapiens, and a mismatch between attentional and visuospatial ability is hypothesized. These two functional systems support present-moment awareness and mind-wandering, respectively, and their evolutionary unbalance can explain a structural sensitivity to psychological distress in our species.
ISSN: 2079-3200
DOI: 10.3390/jintelligence11090183
Editor version:
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons