Tools language and cognition in human evolution pdf

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tools language and cognition in human evolution pdf

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Stone tools, language and the brain in human evolution

Thank you for visiting nature. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer. In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript. The relationship between lithic technology, learning and language is a topic of growing interest in human evolution studies, and has therefore been the subject of numerous scientific papers in recent years. To evaluate the role of language in the social transmission of lithic technology, we designed and developed an experimental protocol through which we compared the acquisition of knapping skills in thirty non-experts in the early stages of learning, by means of three mechanisms of social transmission: imitation-emulation, gestural communication, and verbal communication. All the apprentice knappers carried out the experimental task with blanks that were equal in shape and size, and were requested to replicate what the expert knapper was doing: the alternating method, a sufficiently simple, but systematic technique for detaching flakes from a core.

Experimental evidence for the co-evolution of hominin tool-making teaching and language

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Thank you for visiting nature. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer. In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript. Hominin reliance on Oldowan stone tools—which appear from 2. Across six measures, transmission improves with teaching, and particularly with language, but not with imitation or emulation. This work supports a gradual evolution of language, with simple symbolic communication preceding behavioural modernity by hundreds of thousands of years.

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On Tools Making Minds: an Archaeological Perspective on Human Cognitive Evolution

However, no flintknapping study has assessed the efficiency of speech alone unassisted by gesture as a tool-making transmission aid. The results provide evidence that gesture was likely to be selected over speech as a teaching aid in the earliest hominin tool-makers; that speech could not have replaced gesturing as a tool-making teaching aid in later hominins, possibly explaining the functional retention of gesturing in the full language of modern humans; and that speech may have evolved for reasons unrelated to tool-making. We conclude that speech is unlikely to have evolved as tool-making teaching aid superior to gesture, as claimed by the technological hypothesis, and therefore alternative views should be considered. For example, gestural language may have evolved to enable tool-making in earlier hominins, while speech may have later emerged as a response to increased trade and more complex inter- and intra-group interactions in Middle Pleistocene ancestors of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens ; or gesture and speech may have evolved in parallel rather than in sequence.

The Oxford Handbook of Language Evolution presents critical accounts of every aspect of the field. Research on language evolution has burgeoned over the last three decades. Interdisciplinary activity has produced fundamental advances in the understanding of language evolution and in human and primate evolution more generally.

De Petrillo, F. Variation in primate decision-making under uncertainty and the roots of human economic behaviour. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, :

Evolutionary variation

Evidence of cultural influences on cognition is accumulating, but untangling these cultural influences from one another or from non-cultural influences has remained a challenging task. As between-group differences are neither a sufficient nor a necessary indicator of cultural impact, cross-cultural comparisons in isolation are unable to furnish any cogent conclusions. This shortfall can be compensated by taking a diachronic perspective that focuses on the role of culture for the emergence and evolution of our cognitive abilities. While these strategies are reliant on our understanding of present-day cognition, they conversely also have the potential to advance this understanding in fundamental ways. Human cognition is profoundly shaped by culture. This is perhaps more evident for some domains than for others, but striking examples abound: orientation in and referencing to space and time Levinson, ; Haun et al. As much as they are rendered possible by endowed capacities, all of these cognitive abilities, activities, and achievements are also predicated on culture, be it by way of culturally accumulated and transmitted knowledge, culture-specific concepts and framework theories, cultural tools, conventions, and practices, or simply by the fact that we are a cultural species Tomasello et al.

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Tools, Language and Cognition in Human Evolution [Gibson, Kathleen R.] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Tools, Language and.


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