Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience


Since Darwin we have known that evolution has shaped all organisms and that biological organs—including the brain and the highly crafted animal nervous system—are subject to the pressures of natural and sexual selection. It is only relatively recently, however, that the cognitive neurosciences have begun to apply evolutionary theory and methods to the study of brain and behavior. This landmark reference documents and defines the emerging field of evolutionary cognitive neuroscience. Chapters by leading researchers demonstrate the power of the evolutionary perspective to yield new data, theory, and insights on the evolution and functional modularity of the brain.

Evolutionary cognitive neuroscience covers all areas of cognitive neuroscience, from nonhuman brain-behavior relationships to human cognition and consciousness, and each section of Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience addresses a different adaptive problem. After an introductory section that outlines the basic tenets of both theory and methodology of an evolutionarily informed cognitive neuroscience, the book treats neuroanatomy from ontogenetic and phylogenetic perspectives and explores reproduction and kin recognition, spatial cognition and language, and self-awareness and social cognition. Notable findings include a theory to explain the extended ontogenetic and brain development periods of big-brained organisms, fMRI research on the neural correlates of romantic attraction, an evolutionary view of sex differences in spatial cognition, a theory of language evolution that draws on recent research on mirror neurons, and evidence for a rudimentary theory of mind in nonhuman primates. A final section discusses the ethical implications of evolutionary cognitive neuroscience and the future of the field.

C. Davison Ankney, Simon Baron-Cohen, S. Marc Breedlove, William Christiana, Michael Corballis, Robin I. M. Dunbar, Russell Fernald, Helen Fisher, Jonathan Flombaum, Farah Focquaert, Steven J.C. Gaulin, Aaron Goetz, Kevin Guise, Ruben C. Gur, William D. Hopkins, Farzin Irani, Julian Paul Keenan, Michael Kimberly, Stephen Kosslyn, Sarah L. Levin, Lori Marino, David Newlin, Ivan S. Panyavin, Shilpa Patel, Webb Phillips, Steven M. Platek, David Andrew Puts, Katie Rodak, J. Philippe Rushton, Laurie Santos, Todd K. Shackelford, Kyra Singh, Sean T. Stevens, Valerie Stone, Jaime W. Thomson, Gina Volshteyn, Paul Root Wolpe

Table of Contents

  1. Contributors
  2. Preface
  3. Introduction and Overview
  4. 1. Introduction to Evolutionary Theory and Its Modern Application to Human Behavior and Cognition

    Aaron T. Goetz and Todd K. Shackelford

  5. 2. Brain and Cognition in Evolutionary Perspective

    Robin I. M. Dunbar

  6. 3. Introduction to Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience Methods

    Shilpa Patel, Katie L. Rodak, Euginia Mamikonyan, Kyra Singh, and Steven M. Platek

  7. Neuroanatomy: Ontogeny and Phylogeny
  8. 4. The Evolution of Ontogeny and Human Cognitive Uniqueness: Selection for Extended Brain Development in the Hominid Line

    Valerie E. Stone

  9. 5. Hemispheric Specialization in Chimpanzees: Evolution of Hand and Brain

    William D. Hopkins

  10. 6. The Evolution of Brain Size and Intelligence

    J. Philippe Rushton and C. Davison Ankney

  11. 7. The Evolution of the Brain and Cognition in Cetaceans

    Lori Marino

  12. Reproduction and Kin Selection
  13. 8. The Social Control of Reproduction: Physiological, Cellular, and Molecular Consequences of Social Status

    Russell D. Fernald

  14. 9. Neural Correlates of Facial Resemblance

    Steven M. Platek and Jaime W. Thomson

  15. 10. Lust, Romance, Attachment: Do the Side Effects of Serotonin-Enhancing Antidepressants Jeopardize Romantic Love, Marriage, and Fertility?

    Helen E. Fisher and J. Anderson Thomson, Jr.

  16. 11. Self-Perceived Survival and Reproductive Fitness Theory: Substance Use Disorders, Evolutionary Game Theory, and the Brain

    David B. Newlin

  17. Spatial Cognition and Language
  18. 12. Sex Differences in Spatial Ability: Evolution, Hormones, and the Brain

    David Andrew Puts, Steven J. C. Gaulin, and S. Marc Breedlove

  19. 13. The Evolution of Sex Differences in Spatial Cognition

    Ruben C. Gur, Sarah L. Levin, Farzin Irani, Ivan S. Panyavin, Jaime W. Thomson, and Steven M. Platek

  20. 14. The Evolution of Language: From Hand to Mouth

    Michael C. Corballis

  21. Self-Awareness and Social Cognition
  22. 15. The Evolution of Human Mindreading: How Nonhuman Primates Can Inform Social Cognitive Neuroscience

    Laurie R. Santos, Jonathan I. Flombaum, and Webb Phillips

  23. 16. Social Cognition and the Evolution of Self-Awareness

    Farah Focquaert and Steven M. Platek

  24. 17. The Assortative Mating Theory of Autism

    Simon Baron-Cohen

  25. 18. Deception, Evolution, and the Brain

    Sean T. Stevens, Kevin Guise, William Christiana, Monisha Kumar, and Julian Paul Keenan

  26. 19. On the Evolution of Human Motivation: The Role of Social Prosthetic Systems

    Stephen M. Kosslyn

  27. Theoretical, Ethical, and Future Implications for Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience
  28. 20. Philosophical, Ethical, and Social Considerations of Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience

    Michael B. Kimberly and Paul Root Wolpe

  29. 21. Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience

    Julian Paul Keenan, Austen L. Krill, Steven M. Platek, and Todd K. Shackelford

  30. Index