1st May, 2001
 

Ever Since Adam and Eve

The Evolution of Mind

  • Acorns roasting on an open fire - Stone-Age Europeans may have used fire to increase their supply of acorns, says a British archaeobotanist. Sarah Mason of University College London says there is evidence that acorns were a favoured...
  • Acquired taste - Mothers frequently believe that their babies are born liking what they ate while pregnant. It now turns out that they are right. Benoist Schaal and his colleagues at the European Centre for Taste...
  • The adaptive nature of the human neurocognitive architecture: An alternative model PNAS -- Cerra and Bingham 95 (19): 11290 - The model of the human neurocognitive architecture proposed by evolutionary psychologists is based on the presumption that the demands of hunter-gatherer life generated a vast array of cognitive adaptations. Here we present an alternative model.
  • Adaptive regulation of neuronal excitability by a voltage- independent potassium conductance - Investigations of a neurotransmitter receptor required for 'background' neuronal inhibition in mice show the importance of such inhibition in keeping neuronal excitability under control.
  • Altruism and social cheating in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum - D. discoideum is highly attractive as a model system for social evolution.
  • Animal cognition and animal minds - A paper by Colin Allen.
  • Animal Soul - A history of the idea and a critique of reductionism. It appeared in Paul Edwards, ed., 'The Encyclopedia of Philosophy'. N.Y.: Macmillan and London: Collier-Macmillan, 1967, Vol. 1, pp. 122-27.
  • Association of Ideas - This essay appeared in Philip P. Wiener, ed., 'Dictionary of the History of Ideas'. N.Y.: Scribner's, 1968, vol. 1, pp. 111-18.
  • Bad memories - Gene-altered smart mice may be more sensitive to chronic pain.
  • Behavior and the General Evolutionary Process - Paper by William Baum.
  • Behavioral inferences from the Skhul/Qafzeh early modern human hand remains - These results support the inference of significant behavioral differences between Neanderthals and the Skhul/Qafzeh hominids and indicate that a significant shift in human manipulative behaviors was associated with the earliest stages of the emergence of modern humans.
  • Big bottom - Most sexual ornaments are sported by male animals - but not the olive baboon's backside.
  • Blot the difference - Sometimes low-tech is best for pinning down a fossil.
  • Body odour - Your genes help determine which perfume you prefer, according to new research.
  • A bottom-up approach with a clear view of the top - Online paper by G. F. Miller and P. M. Todd.
  • Boundary disputes - The brain still resists researchers' attempts to divide it into neat parcels.
  • Brain Terrain - Mapping the functions of various areas.
  • Building a Brainier Mouse - By genetically engineering a smarter than average mouse, scientists have assembled some of the central molecular components of learning and memory.
  • The Caveman’s New Clothes - From what they wore to how they hunted: overturning the threadbare reconstructions of Ice Age culture.
  • Chance and necessity - Although simple filamentous and spherical forms may evolve wherever cellular life exists, the evolution of motile, modular mega-organisms might not be a universal pattern.
  • Close cousins - It's vanishingly small. A mere 0.1 per cent is the difference between your genome and mine. But those tiny bits could help us get to grips with killer diseases, says Kathryn Brown.
  • Cognitive science: The logic of human learning - There is a formal measure of complexity that determines how natural a category is and how difficult it is to learn.
  • Comfort feeding - The shape of women's breasts may have evolved to prevent smothering during feeding
  • Cultural psychology meets evolutionary psychology - Paper presented at the 8th conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology (ISTP), April 25-28, 2000, Sydney.
  • Cultural revolution in whale songs - The song patterns of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) depend on where they live, with populations inhabiting different ocean basins normally singing quite distinct songs. Here we record a unique and radical song change in the song of humpback whales in the Pacific Ocean off the Australian east coast.
  • Cutting edge - Molar teeth, the secret of mammals' evolutionary success, may have developed twice.
  • Dark thoughts - Freud may have been right: people can suppress memories.
  • Darwin and the Genre of Biography - Published in G. Levine, ed., 'One Culture: Essays in Science and Literature'. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987, pp. 203-24.
  • Darwin: Man and Metaphor - This is the text of a television documentary in the series 'Late Great Victorians', BBC1, 1988. It was also published in Science as Culture no. 5: 71-86, 1989.
  • Darwin, Marx, Freud and the Foundations of the Human Sciences - This is a talk on the grand view of the human sciences, presented to CHEIRON, the European Society for the History of the Behavioural Sciences and reprinted in its Newsletter, Spring 1988, pp. 7-12.
  • Darwin on the Evolution of Morality - Paper presented for the session on the 19th century biology, International Fellows Conference (Center for Philosophy of Science, Univ. of Pittsburgh), May 20-24, Castiglioncello, Italy by Soshichi Uchii, Kyoto University.
  • Darwinism and the Division of Labour - The founding conference of the British Society for the Social Responsibility in Science in November 1970, was on the theme, 'The Social Impact of Modern Biology'. The conference was attended by a number of eminent scientists, e.g., Nobel Laureates James Watson, Jaques Monod, Maurice Wilkins; David Bohm, Jacob Bronowski, R.G. Edwards (of Steptoe & Edwards, the pioneers of 'test-tube babies'), as well as some radicals, Hilary & Steven Rose, John Beckwith. It was, perhaps, the last moment when radicals and posh scientists were relatively united. The talk was published in The Listener, 17 August 1972, pp. 202-5 and in Science as Culture no. 9: 110-24, 1990.
  • Darwinism is Social - This essay appeared on David Kohn, ed., 'The Darwinian Heritage'. Princeton and Nova Pacifica, 1985, pp. 609-638.
  • Darwin's Metaphor and the Philosophy of Science - This was first presented to the Piaget Seminar, University of Geneva, about 1986 and published in Science as Culture (no. 16) 3: 375-403, 1993. It draws out the philosophical implications of 'Darwin's Metaphor' (Cambridge, 1985), in particular, the role of metaphorical and teleological language in Darwin.
  • The Development of Herbert Spencer's Concept of Evolution - A paper delivered to the Eleventh International Congress of the History of Science, Warsaw, August 1965 and published in Actes du Xle Congres International d'Histoire des Sciences Warsaw: Ossolineum, 1967, vol. 2, pp. 273-78.
  • Developmental biology: Control by combinatorial codes - Studies in fruitflies support the idea that regulatory regions of genes control development by acting as molecular 'computers', calculating cell fate according to the combined effects of several signalling pathways.
  • Dinner with destiny - Just when you thought it was safe to stop evolving, culture and technology may be itching to wipe out your genes. Is human evolution about to take off, asks Philip Cohen.
  • Dominant rams lose out by sperm depletion - Here we show that constraints on sperm production mean that those males that are most successful in overt contests can become ineffectual in covert sperm competition.
  • Double take - A 3.5 million year-old skull unearthed in Kenya may force a re-examination of the evolution of modern humans.
  • The Drosophila Netrin receptor Frazzled guides axons by controlling Netrin distribution - Frazzled-dependent guidance of one pioneer neuron in the central nervous system can be accounted for solely on the basis of this ability of Frazzled to control Netrin distribution, and not by Frazzled signalling. We propose a model of patterning mechanism in which a receptor rearranges secreted ligand molecules, thereby creating positional information for other receptors.
  • Evolution and genetic information - Clarification from David Roche.
  • Evolution and the Origins of Disease: November 1998 - Nesse and Williams' Scientific American article on evolution and the origins of disease.
  • Evolution in mind - Studies of ancient artefacts and modern apes suggest that the human mind evolved in five distinct stages. Steven Mithen at the University of Reading thinks the biggest shift happened 30 000 years ago,...
  • Evolution, Teleology, Intentionality - Online paper by Daniel Dennett.
  • An evolutionary approach to the analysis, assessment and treatment of behaviour problems in companion animals - These pages describe research on behaviour undertaken by staff at the School of Agriculture.
  • Evolutionary Biology and Ideology: Then and Now - A paper contributed to a conference on 'The Social Impact of Modern Biology'. It appeared in Science Studies 1: 177-296, 1971.
  • Evolutionary biology: Deja vu - A long-term study of fruitflies adds to the evidence that evolution can run backwards. To what extent the genetic underpinnings revert to the original is unclear.
  • Evolutionary Ethics and Biologically Supportable Morality - A paper by Michael Byron.
  • An Evolutionary Hypothesis For Eating Disorders - Abed, Riadh T (1998) The sexual competition hypothesis for eating disorders. British Journal of Medical Psychology 71(4):525-547.
  • An Evolutionary Hypothesis For Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Abed, Riadh T and de Pauw, Karel W (1999) An Evolutionary Hypothesis for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Psychological Immune System?. Behavioural Neurology 11:245-250.
  • Evolutionary naturalism, theism, and skepticism about the external world - Online paper by J. Wesley Robbins.
  • Evolutionary theory and the psychology of eating - Online paper by A. W. Logue.
  • Fatal attraction - Sexual selection is driving some fish towards extinction, say researchers from New Mexico. They have found that female Pecos pupfish prefer to mate with males of another species.
  • Fear memories require protein synthesis in the amygdala for reconsolidation after retrieval - Here we show that consolidated fear memories, when reactivated during retrieval, return to a labile state in which infusion of anisomycin shortly after memory reactivation produces amnesia on later tests, regardless of whether reactivation was performed 1 or 14 days after conditioning.
  • Feminism and evolutionary psychology - Online paper by S. L. Hurley.
  • Forget me not - How we bond with our nearest and dearest.
  • From Prototools to Language - Technology is by no means a recent invention. Philip & Phylis Morrison trace its origins back through our prehistoric ancestry.
  • Functional Origins of Religious Concepts - This is a profound essay on the role of religion from an evolutionary perspective. Pascal Boyer, the author, is one of the rising stars in evolutionary theory in the social sciences.
  • The Functions of Postpartum Depression - An online paper by Edward Hagen.
  • The Functions of the Brain: Gall to Ferrier (1808-1886) - An online paper on mind, brain, and adaptation in the nineteenth century. It was published in Isis 59: 251-68, 1968.
  • Games boys play - Have sexist pigs found something to crow about?
  • Gene warrior - Iceland is Valhalla for geneticists. Virtually all the country's 270 000 inhabitants are descended from settlers who colonised the island in the ninth century AD. Its genealogical records stretch back a thousand years and its medical records for a hundred, so the country is uniquely placed for tracing inherited diseases. For trying to exploit this resource, Kari Stefansson has gained a reputation as a bad boy of genetics. After twenty years working as a neuroscientist in the US, he set up deCODE Genetics and persuaded the Icelandic government to sell the company exclusive access to the nation's health records. The company goes public next week. Stefansson has visions of Iceland as an international centre for biotech research. But critics accuse him of making money from disease, trampling on people's privacy and wrecking the relationship between doctors and patients. Ehsan Masood speaks to the man at the centre of a modern-day saga.
  • Genetic control and evolution of sexually dimorphic characters in Drosophila - A key challenge in evolutionary biology is to identify genetic events responsible for morphological change, and to understand how changes at the molecular level affect development and translate into phenotypic diversity.
  • Genetic enhancement of inflammatory pain by forebrain NR2B overexpression - Our study implicates a molecular mechanism by which forebrain activity could modulate behavioral responses to inflammatory pain.
  • Girl talk - Women chat up men and without knowing it, says scientist.
  • Great ape DNA sequences reveal a reduced diversity and an expansion in humans - The extent of DNA sequence variation of chimpanzees is several-fold greater than that of humans.
  • A healthy mind - Why are great apes resistant to the ravages of dementia?
  • A Host with Infectious Ideas - Paul W. Ewald argues that most cancers, heart disease and other chronic ills stem from infections. If correct, his theory will change the course of medicine.
  • Imagery neurons in the human brain - We found single neurons in the hippocampus, amygdala, entorhinal cortex and parahippocampal gyrus that selectively altered their firing rates depending on the stimulus the subjects were imagining.
  • Impaired recognition and experience of disgust following brain injury - Here we describe evidence, from a patient with insula and putamen damage, for a neural system for recognizing social signals of disgust from multiple modalities.
  • Increased dopamine release in the human amygdala during performance of cognitive tasks - These data provide evidence for sustained activation of the human mesolimbic dopaminergic system during performance of cognitive tasks.
  • Individualism and Evolutionary Psychology - Online paper by David Buller.
  • Intelligence: Evolutionary psychology meets g - An analysis by Neil Mackintosh.
  • Intentionality detection and "mindreading": Why does game form matter? PNAS -- McCabe et al. 97 (8): 4404 - By around the age of 4 years, children "can work out what people might know, think or believe" based on what they say or do. This is called "mindreading," which builds upon the human ability to infer the intentions of others.
  • Into the mind of a killer - Brain imaging studies are starting to venture into the legal minefield of research into criminal psychopathy. Alison Abbott reports from one of the most controversial frontiers of neuroscience.
  • Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? - Why are some humans considered more beautiful than others? Theory suggests that sexually reproducing organisms should choose mates displaying characters indicative of high genotypic or phenotypic quality.
  • Is our perception of infanticide all wrong? - Magnus Enquist and his colleagues at Stockholm University dispute the findings.
  • Is Out of Africa Going Out the Door? - Reanalysis of gene studies and new fossil evidence cast doubts of a popular theory of human origins.
  • Is There a Normal Phase of Synaesthesia in Development? - A paper in Psyche by Simon Baron-Cohen.
  • It started with a kiss - Photo: Tony StoneFrom a simple peck to a full-blown snog, who invented this bizarre habit of ours?
  • It's in the air - We may be able to pick up chemical signals after all.
  • Japan's ape sequencing effort set to unravel the brain's secrets - The genetics and neurology of apes could pave the way to a better understanding of the relationship between the human genome and the brain.
  • Just can't get enough - Your body can become hooked on blackjack, sex...even gardening.
  • Lies I tell myself - Last week I went to the dogs--literally. While the spectacle provided by greyhounds running round and round in circles was evidently sufficient to fill a stadium, my eyes were firmly on the humans....
  • Mammoth Kill - Did humans hunt giant mammals to extinction? Or give them lethal disease?
  • Maternal age and traits in offspring - The timing of a mouse's first litter influences the development of her pups.
  • Memes and the Exploitation of Imagination - Online paper by Daniel Dennett.
  • Mental calculation in a prodigy is sustained by right prefrontal and medial temporal areas - We found that the expert could switch between short-term effort-requiring storage strategies and highly efficient episodic memory encoding and retrieval, a process that was sustained by right prefrontal and medial temporal areas.
  • Microscopic midwives - Long maligned as mere blobs, amoebas turn out to have a caring, sharing side. By watching colonies under a microscrope, researchers in Israel have discovered that other amoebas come to the rescue when...
  • Mind phantoms - There's nothing supernatural about ghosts, doppelgängers and out-of-body experiences, says a Swiss neuroscientist. They are simply phantom sensations like a phantom limb, he says, but spread to the...
  • Mind theory - The brain regions critical in allowing us to understand another person's thoughts are revealed.
  • Minimization of Boolean complexity in human concept learning - The data reveal a surprisingly simple empirical 'law': the subjective difficulty of a concept is directly proportional to its Boolean complexity (the length of the shortest logically equivalent propositional formula)—that is, to its logical incompressibility.
  • More Than the Best Medicine: - Hear the one about the baboon with the wooden leg? Laughing to make friends and influence others.
  • The mystery of female beauty - Evolutionary psychology suggests that a woman's sexual attractiveness might be based on cues of reproductive potential.
  • The naked chef - Chimpanzees are on their way to becoming half-decent chefs. Captive chimps in Madrid have begun to purée their own fruits and vegetables, in what looks like the first case of an ape transforming food...
  • Natural Selection: Evolving evolvability - In yeast, a modified protein known as a prion generates variation in growth rate across diverse environments. Is this an example of an agent that has evolved in order to promote its possessor's adaptability?
  • The Naturalization of Value Systems in the Human Sciences - This essay first appeared as an Open University Course Unit for 'Science and Belief: from Darwin to Einstein', Block VI: Problems in the Biological and Human Sciences. Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1981, pp. 63-110.
  • Negative genetic correlation between male sexual attractiveness and survival - Here I show that sexual attractiveness in male guppies (Poecilia reticulata) is heritable and genetically correlated with ornamentation.
  • Neuroanatomical basis for first- and second-order representations of bodily states - Our findings provide empirical support for a theory proposing a hierarchical representation of bodily states.
  • Neuroethology and the philosophy of cognitive science - Online paper by Brian L. Keeley.
  • Neurons derived from radial glial cells establish radial units in neocortex - Here we show that clones consist of mitotic radial glia and postmitotic neurons, and that neurons migrate along clonally related radial glia.
  • Neurophysiology: Good memories of bad events in infancy - We found that very young rat pups exposed to various odours associated with shock treatment learn an approach response to that odour, whereas older pups learn odour avoidance.
  • Next-door neighbours are worlds apart - The narrow Strait of Gibraltar was a more effective barrier to early human migration than the whole of the Sahara, geneticists claim. David Comas of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and his...
  • Nimble fingers - Modern man may have out-competed his Neanderthal cousins by having a finer touch.
  • Only a game? - Do kids who like zapping people on screen take their aggression onto the streets? Guy Cumberbatch doesn't believe the hype.
  • Out of Africa - Advances in DNA sequencing give big boost to theory that humanity was born in Africa.
  • Paleolithic Pit Stop - A French site suggests Neandertals and early modern humans behaved similarly.
  • Pavlov's people - Memory can be boosted by associating smells with learning - but odours can lead to failure too.
  • Pinker and the Brain - Cognitive scientist Steven Pinker plumbs the evolutionary origins of language and behavior while keeping his detractors at bay.
  • Playing fair - Are you breathtakingly mean or perfectly equitable? Kate Douglas investigates where your moral sense comes from, and how we can shape it.
  • Please eat me - Yeast cells offer themselves on a plate to avert famine.
  • Primitive intelligence - Slime mould displays computing ability in maze challenge.
  • The problem of variation - One genetic source of the sex-specific variation in pigmentation patterns of different fruitfly species has been identified. This study illustrates the power of bringing together developmental and evolutionary biology.
  • Read my mind - Imagine you had cells in your brain that could read other people's minds. Well, you do. And they could be the key to human language, empathy, even society, says Alison Motluk.
  • Real-time prediction of hand trajectory by ensembles of cortical neurons in primates - Here we recorded the simultaneous activity of large populations of neurons, distributed in the premotor, primary motor and posterior parietal cortical areas, as non-human primates performed two distinct motor tasks.
  • Reply: The mystery of female beauty - Yu and Shepard reply — We have proposed that cultural invariance in beauty preferences could be an artefact of exposure to a dominant culture, and also that evolutionary psychology should embrace variation because adaptive evolution is as likely to produce variable outcomes as fixed ones.
  • The Roots of Homicide - The U.S. property crime rate matches those of most other industrialized countries, but its homicide rate exceeds western Europe’s by 4 to 1 and Japan’s by 7 to 1. The historical roots of this disparity may lie not in the Western frontier, as many believe, but in the institution of slavery and the unusual history of firearms in America.
  • See me, feel me - A gentle caress may help you see better, say scientists in London. Their finding suggests that regions of the brain dedicated to the individual senses communicate with each other in more sophisticated...
  • Self-recognition and the right hemisphere - Our findings indicate that neural substrates of the right hemisphere may selectively participate in processes linked to self-awareness.
  • Sexual conflict and speciation - Sexual conflict occurs because males are selected to produce as many offspring as possible, even if this means lowering the overall reproductive output of individual females. A new model proposed by Gavrilets suggests that strong asymmetries between males and females in the costs and benefits of mating will create runaway coevolution between the sexes, promoting rapid divergence between populations and hence speciation.
  • Smell of female - Men can smell when women are at their most fertile, according to a T-shirt test in Texas
  • A smile is just a smile - Don't kid yourself, she's only checking out your credentials.
  • So you think you're in love? - Some say love is blind. Others say it defies explanation. But two cognitive neurologists in Britain say that love is just a specific type of brain activity. Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki at University...
  • Survival of the clearest - There are no fossils to show how language evolved. But evolutionary game theory is revealing how some of the defining features of human language could have been shaped by natural selection. Article by Steven Pinker.
  • Synaesthesia - Crossed wires in the brain give colour to numbers.
  • Taking the plunge - Our distant ancestors' fondness for a swim may explain why humans are such unusual primates. Kate Douglas takes a new look at a controversial old theory.
  • Talking about the genome - Biologists must take responsibility for the correct use of language in genetics.
  • Temples of intelligence - Can intelligence really be localised to a single brain area?
  • Testing Hamilton's rule with competition between relatives - Here we report that—contrary to Hamilton's original prediction but in agreement with recent theory-the level of fighting between males shows no correlation with the estimated relatedness of interacting males, but is negatively correlated with future mating opportunities.
  • That's the way the money goes - Life's so unfair. The rich get richer, while the rest of us just scrape by. Is society to blame or are deeper forces at work, asks Mark Buchanan.
  • They do it with mirrors - nullWho'd have thought that you could make the brain pay attention to a useless limb, or even exercise a phantom one with only a mirror for help, says Helen Phillips.
  • Variation in the reversibility of evolution - Here we show that reverse evolution back to the ancestral state occurs, but is not universal, instead depending on previous evolutionary history and the character studied.
  • Wired like a human - Design your circuit like a brain and it'll be almost as smart.
  • The woman who dared to ask - How do you study sex? Stick electrodes on penises and vulvas? Place hidden cameras in people's bedrooms? Do face-to-face interviews with embarrassed subjects? Shere Hite should know. After all, she showed in her famous Hite reports that the clitoris is more than button- sized. For her, there's much more to sex than measuring electrical stimuli or chemical secretions. But if sex research isn't about crude calibration or producing a better Viagra, then what is it? Liz Else was curious.
  • Womb Wars - New evidence that a mother’s and father’s “imprinted genes” battle to determine a baby’s size.
  • Young mums - Mothers that give birth very young or very old pass problems down the generations, at least in mice.

BOOKS

 

 

 

Articles, Papers and Books on Evolutionary Psychology