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Academic & Professional Books  Organismal to Molecular Biology  Neurobiology

Lucy to Language The Benchmark Papers

By: Robin Dunbar(Author), Clive Gamble(Author), JAJ Gowlett(Author)
536 pages, 59 illustrations
Lucy to Language
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  • Lucy to Language ISBN: 9780199652594 Hardback Feb 2014 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
Price: £125.00
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

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

I: Background
1. Mind the Gap: or why we aren't just great apes / R.I.M. Dunbar
2. The social brain and the shape of the palaeolithic / Clive Gamble, J.A.J. Gowlett and R.I.M. Dunbar

II: Social Brain and Cognition
3. The social brain hypothesis: an evolutionary perspective on the neurobiology of social behaviour / Susanne Shultz and R.I.M. Dunbar
4. Hominin cognitive evolution: identifying patterns and processes in the fossil and archaeological record / Susanne Shultz, Emma Nelson and R.I.M. Dunbar
5. The Identity Model: a theory to access visual display and hominin cognition within the Palaeolithic / James Cole
6. The longest transition or multiple revolutions? Curves and steps in the record of human origins / J.A.J. Gowlett

III: Processes of Social Bonding
7. Relationships and the social brain hypothesis: integrating evolutionary and psychological perspectives / A.J. Sutcliffe, R.I.M. Dunbar, Jens Binder and Holly Arrow
8. Close social relationships: an evolutionary perspective / S.B.G. Roberts, Holly Arrow, Julia Lehmann and R.I.M. Dunbar
9. The brain opioid theory of social attachment: a review of the evidence / A.J. Machin and R.I.M. Dunbar

IV: Community, Time and Cohesion
10. Time as an ecological constraint / R.I.M. Dunbar, A.H. Korstjens and Julia Lehmann
11. Unravelling the evolutionary function of communities / Julia Lehmann, P.C. Lee and R.I.M. Dunbar
12. Fireside chat: the impact of fire on hominin socioecology / R.I.M. Dunbar and J.A.J. Gowlett
13. Bridging the bonding gap: the transition from primates to humans / R.I.M. Dunbar

V: The Social World in Antiquity
14. Evolution of primate social systems: implications for hominin social evolution / Susanne Shultz, Christopher Opie, Emma Nelson, Q.D. Atkinson and R.I.M. Dunbar
15. The road to modern humans: time budgets, fission-fusion sociality, kinship and the division of labour in hominin evolution / R.I.M. Dunbar, Julia Lehmann, A.H. Korstjens and J.A.J. Gowlett
16. The costs of being a high latitude hominin / Eiluned Pearce, Andy Shuttleworth, M.J. Grove and R.H. Layton
17. Communities on the edge of civilisation / Fiona Coward and R.I.M. Dunbar

VI: Language, Kinship and Culture
18. The elements of design form in Acheulean bifaces: modes, modalities, rules and language / J.A.J. Gowlett
19. Why only humans have language / R.I.M. Dunbar
20. Social origins: sharing, exchange, kinship / Alan Barnard
21. Big brains, small worlds: material culture and the evolution of mind / Fiona Coward and Clive Gamble

Appendix: Selected Principal Publications of the Lucy Project (2003-2012)

Customer Reviews


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)

By: Robin Dunbar(Author), Clive Gamble(Author), JAJ Gowlett(Author)
536 pages, 59 illustrations
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