Three 1/2-day courses on cognition and human evolution. One of the days will be a lab where students learn how to make stone tools ranging from 2 myr to 0.5 myr technologies.
The course will help establish a strong focus on evolution of human cognition within the Cognitive Science Program. It will review experimental research, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, into patterns of thought and brain activity involved in tasks related to stone tool-making, language and search for resources; and show studies of fossil brain endocasts, which are casts of fossil skull brain-cases that reveal features of prehistoric brain anatomy.
“A key component of studying cognitive science, and one that is too often forgotten, is exploring what various aspects of cognition are for, what problems did cognition help our ancestors to solve?” The evolution of human cognition is arguably one of the most important transitions in the history of humanity.
Kathy received her Ph.D. in 1984 from The University of California at Berkeley. Her interests in Old World prehistory, palaeoanthropology, archaeological site formation, zooarchaeology, lithic technology, and primate studies have led her to conduct fieldwork in Africa, Asia and Europe, as well as laboratory research in the United States. She was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004, and received the Distinguished Faculty Research Award from Indiana University in 1997.
Nick received his Ph.D. in 1982 from The University of California at Berkeley. His research interests include African prehistory, palaeolithic studies, the evolution of human intelligence, lithic technology, experimental archaeology, microscopic approaches to archaeology, zooarchaeology, ethnoarchaeology, and primate studies. He is currently involved in experimental investigations of stone tool-making and tool-using behaviors of modern African apes and of the manufacture and use of early Palaeolithic tools. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004.
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