IMC Researchers receive grant for International Network

Towards an experimental understanding of human cognitive evolution

2015.12.18 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Researchers from The School of Culture and Society been granted 287.885 kr. from The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, The International Network Programme.

Researchers involved in the network:

Towards an experimental understanding of human cognitive evolution

Understanding the patterns and processes of human evolution are key to understanding ourselves and our own place in the world. South Africa has in recent years yielded remarkable empirical evidence for the first innovation of key technologies such as the bow-and-arrow, art and personal ornamentation in sum pointing towards a major transition – from about 150.000 years ago – towards anatomical, behavioural and cognitive ‘modernity’: The emergence of our own species both in a biological and cultural sense. Much of this work remains, however, descriptive and not linked to similarly recent developments in evolutionary and cognitive theory and method. The aim of this network is to establish salient links between key experts on the empirical record in South Africa and state-of-the-art research clusters in human bio-cultural evolution and cognitive science in Denmark. The purpose of the proposed networking activities is to move towards a novel experimental paradigm that frontloads the archaeological evidence into behavioural and neuro-scientific experiments in order to reveal salient elements of human-human and human-object interactions. Together with emerging evidence from genetics, this work can be linked explicitly to better understanding specifically human psychology and its flipside psychological illnesses, as well as their treatment.

For further information, please contact Felix Riede, Prehistoric Archaeology, f.riede@cas.au.dk

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