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Gaining Control
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Gaining Control: How human behavior evolved

Robert Aunger and Valerie Curtis


This book tells the story of how human behavioral capacities evolved from those of other animal species. By sticking close to what is known about the psychological capacities of other groups of animals, we can reconstruct a history of our own mental evolution. We suggest that mental evolution can be seen as a series of steps in which new mechanisms for controlling behavior (the primary function of the animal nervous system) arose in different species, beginning with early representatives of this kingdom, and leading to a species—us—which can engage in a large number of different types of behav ... More

Keywords: behavioral control, evolution, learning, drives, emotions, instincts, planning, psychology, natural kinds

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780199688951
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199688951.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Aunger, author
Senior Lecturer, The Hygiene Centre London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , UK

Valerie Curtis, author
The Hygiene Centre London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine , UK