The Prehistoric Roots of the Modern Mind
This chapter explains why the process of human evolution is crucial to understanding the structures and functions of the modern human mind. Tracing hominid development up to the appearance of Homo sapiens, the chapter explores some of the selective pressures faced in our ancestral past, and the cognitive adaptations that gave rise to human intelligence. It shows how the ultimate success of Homo sapiens was the result of mental mechanisms (e.g., theory of mind, social intelligence, and language) that fitted humans to the “cognitive niche” — an adaptive space characterized by the gathering and strategic use of information — and that remain the hallmarks of human thought and behavior today.
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