331 pages, 46 b/w photos and b/w illustrations
The Rise of Homo sapiens provides an unrivalled interdisciplinary introduction to the subject of hominin cognitive evolution that is appropriate for general audiences and students in psychology, archaeology, and anthropology.
The book includes chapters on neural anatomy, working memory, evolutionary methods, and non-human primate cognition, but the bulk of the text reviews major developments in cognition over the span of hominin evolution from the ape-like cognition of Ardipithecus to the final developments that enabled the modern mind. The most provocative chapters of the first edition – the explicit discussion of the role of sleep in hominin evolution and the difference between Neandertal and modern human cognition – incorporate significant developments in both areas since The Rise of Homo sapiens of the first edition. This revised edition updates the former text and adds greater emphasis to the growing fields of epigenetic inheritance, embodied cognition, and neuroaesthetics. The new edition provides greater emphasis on role and status of Homo heidelbergensis.
Reviews of the first edition:
"Coolidge and Wynn offer many useful insights into hominid cognition and provide a framework for model building and testing that can generate unequivocal results. The real contribution of The Rise of Homo sapiens, then, is not in its conclusions, but in its methodological commitments."
– Journal of Anthropological Research, 2010
"The book presents some intriguing ideas and offers alternative support for those who see a recent origin for modern human behaviour."
– South African Archaeological Bulletin, 2010
"Coolidge and Wynn have written a clear, well-researched book that provides a strongly reasoned theoretical argument."
– PsycCRITIQUES, 2009
"This volume will be of considerable interest to anyone working in the cognitive sciences, notably anthropologists, archaeologists, and neuropsychologists."
– CHOICE, October 2009
List of Figures
2. The Brain
3. Working Memory
4. Brain Evolution
6. Early Hominins
7. Homo erectus
8. The First Major Leap in Cognition: The Tree-to-Ground Sleep Transition
9. Homo heidelbergensis and the Beginnings of Modern Thinking
10. The Rise and Fall of Neandertals
11. Enhanced Working Memory and the Evolution of Modern Thinking
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Frederick L. Coolidge is Professor of Psychology at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Along with Thomas Wynn he has pubished articles in American Scientist, Current Anthropology, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Journal of Human Evolution, and many others.
Thomas Wynn is Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado.