536 pages, 59 illustrations
The concept of the social brain has become a popular topic in the last decade and has generated interest within the research community and contributed to a wide public examination of human culture, nature, mind, and instinct, as well as aspects of social and business organisation. At its core, the hypothesis that our social life drove the dramatic enlargement of our brain, bridges the dimensions of our evolutionary history and our contemporary experience.
This has been the focus of a seven-year research project funded by the British Academy, the British Academy Centenary Research Project (otherwise known as the Lucy Project). The main aim of the Lucy Project has been to explore these two axes in an integrated set of studies whose focus was to link archaeology and, in its broadest sense, evolutionary psychology, which offers powerful, new explanatory insights.
This approach redresses the past contribution from archaeology towards the study of evolutionary issues and ties evolutionary psychology into the extensive historical data from the past, allowing us to escape the confined timeframe of the comparatively recent human mind. In this volume of published and new papers, the contributors explore the question of just what it is that makes us so different, and why and when these uniquely human capacities evolved.
List of Illustrations and Tables
1: R.I.M. Dunbar: Mind the Gap: or why we aren't just great apes
2: Clive Gamble, J.A.J. Gowlett and R.I.M. Dunbar: The social brain and the shape of the palaeolithic
II: Social Brain and Cognition
3: Susanne Shultz and R.I.M. Dunbar: The social brain hypothesis: an evolutionary perspective on the neurobiology of social behaviour
4: Susanne Shultz, Emma Nelson and R.I.M. Dunbar: Hominin cognitive evolution: identifying patterns and processes in the fossil and archaeological record
5: James Cole: The Identity Model: a theory to access visual display and hominin cognition within the Palaeolithic
6: J.A.J. Gowlett: The longest transition or multiple revolutions? Curves and steps in the record of human origins
III: Processes of Social Bonding
7: A.J. Sutcliffe, R.I.M. Dunbar, Jens Binder and Holly Arrow: Relationships and the social brain hypothesis: integrating evolutionary and psychological perspectives
8: S.B.G. Roberts, Holly Arrow, Julia Lehmann and R.I.M. Dunbar: Close social relationships: an evolutionary perspective
9: A.J. Machin and R.I.M. Dunbar: The brain opioid theory of social attachment: a review of the evidence
IV: Community, Time and Cohesion
10: R.I.M. Dunbar, A.H. Korstjens and Julia Lehmann: Time as an ecological constraint
11: Julia Lehmann, P.C. Lee and R.I.M. Dunbar: Unravelling the evolutionary function of communities
12: R.I.M. Dunbar and J.A.J. Gowlett: Fireside chat: the impact of fire on hominin socioecology
13: R.I.M. Dunbar: Bridging the bonding gap: the transition from primates to humans
V: The Social World in Antiquity
14: Susanne Shultz, Christopher Opie, Emma Nelson, Q.D. Atkinson and R.I.M. Dunbar: Evolution of primate social systems: implications for hominin social evolution
15: R.I.M. Dunbar, Julia Lehmann, A.H. Korstjens and J.A.J. Gowlett: The road to modern humans: time budgets, fission-fusion sociality, kinship and the division of labour in hominin evolution
16: Eiluned Pearce, Andy Shuttleworth, M.J. Grove and R.H. Layton: The costs of being a high latitude hominin
17: Fiona Coward and R.I.M. Dunbar: Communities on the edge of civilisation
VI: Language, Kinship and Culture
18: J.A.J. Gowlett: The elements of design form in Acheulean bifaces: modes, modalities, rules and language
19: R.I.M. Dunbar: Why only humans have language
20: Alan Barnard: Social origins: sharing, exchange, kinship
21: Fiona Coward and Clive Gamble: Big brains, small worlds: material culture and the evolution of mind
Appendix: Selected Principal Publications of the Lucy Project (2003-2012)
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Robin Dunbar is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Magdalen College. His principal research interests focus on the evolution of sociality (with particular reference to primates and humans). He is best known for the social brain hypothesis, the gossip theory of language evolution, and Dunbar's Number (the limit on the number of relationships that we can manage).
Clive Gamble is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton.
John Gowlett is Professor of Palaeolithic Archaeology at the University of Liverpool.
Holly Arrow (University of Oregon, Portland)
Quentin Atkinson (University of Auckland)
Alan Barnard (University of Edinburgh)
Jens Binder (Nottingham Trent University)
James Cole (University of Southampton)
Fiona Coward (Bournemouth University)
Robin Dunbar (University of Oxford)
Clive Gamble (University of Southampton)
John Gowlett (University of Liverpool)
Matt Grove (University of Liverpool)
Mandy Korstjens (Bournemouth University)
Robert Layton (University of Durham)
Phyllis Lee (University of Stirling)
Julia Lehmann (Roehampton University)
Anna Machin (University of Oxford)
Emma Nelson (University of Liverpool)
Christopher Opie (University of Oxford)
Eiluned Pearce (University of Oxford)
Sam Roberts (University of Chester)
Andy Shettleworth (University of Liverpool)
Susanne Shultz (University of Manchester)
Alistair Sutcliffe (University of Manchester)